About this Show

Capitol Hill Hearings

News/Business.

NETWORK

DURATION
05:00:00

RATING

SCANNED IN
San Francisco, CA, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Channel 91 (627 MHz)

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
704

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Us 47, United States 46, Afghanistan 45, U.s. 23, Russia 20, China 20, Taliban 15, America 15, Libya 15, Washington 14, Iran 11, Europe 10, Egypt 10, Ecuador 10, Israel 9, Pacific 9, Australia 8, Iraq 7, Nato 6, U.n. 6,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  CSPAN    Capitol Hill Hearings    News/Business.  

    September 18, 2012
    8:00 - 1:00am EDT  

8:00pm
continuing this, have gone much farther on these issues. captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> kentucky congressman ed whitfield on accusations that the president is engaged on a so-called war on coal. and a recent article profiles the new consumer protection bureau and talk to the the editn chief. "washington journal" begins live at 7:00 a.m. eastern time on c- span. a pro-democracy leader says there will need help from the united states as the move towards a democracy. the obama administration has said it is considering using sanctions against myanmar, also known as burma. this is one hour and 15 minutes.
8:01pm
>> well, welcome to all of you. this is my first official of bent as the new president. what a thrill, frankly, to be here with you. her first visit to the united states in 20 years. no. a 40 years. and she chose to come to the institute for her first public address. we have wonderful partners in the society. and the blue moon a society. we have a great relationship with the state department of secretary clinton today. a number of her colleagues are here. kurt campbell. in addition, i would like to particularly recognize a couple of our board members.
8:02pm
without her, i do not think this event would have occurred. i would like to thank her for coming. i like to turn things over. [applause] >> i join with jim. i want to tell you that this is an extremely large and important a pleasure that we have in welcoming all of you here today. it is an event in honor of remarkable individual. we welcome you and your delegation to washington. we have followed to your struggle over the last two decades and have been inspired by your unwavering commitment to advancing human rights, equity, and injustice in your country. secretary clinton, we are honored by your presence today.
8:03pm
thank you for joining us and thank you for your burma team, many of whom are with you here today. my colleagues and i ask the asian society are delighted to co-host of today's event, along with united states institute of peace. jim, congratulations to you on your appointment as the president of this great institution. we look forward to continuing our work together. i am pleased to say that the asian societies of relationship with aung san suu goes back to the late 1960's when she was living in a new york city and working for the united nations. we are grateful for this long- standing friendship. we are glad that some many of her friends and supporters could join us today to welcome her back to the united states. the asian society has been organizing burma a belated public programming focusing on
8:04pm
political and developments and issues as well as art exhibitions. since its founding in 1956. in 2009, we established a task force promoted to improving relations, which we have a follow up with attractive to work. with an emphasis on strengthening relations between our countries and promoting cultural exchanges and marshaling expertise underway in of burma. this is a most important moment in burma's history. we are committed to continuing this work. the asian society and our partners stand ready to help. thank you. [applause]
8:05pm
>> i have to introduce somebody who has been no need to be introduced. if secretary clinton. [applause] >> it is wonderful to be back here, especially for this extraordinary occasion. i want to thank you u.s. ip and congratulate jim marshall on becoming president. we certainly look forward to working with you. i want to thank you the asian society. it has certainly stood the test of time. we very much enjoyed working with you as well. the purpose for this a gathering is quite an exciting one because we have here an opportunity for
8:06pm
someone who has represented the struggle for freedom and democracy, for human rights, and opportunity. not only in her own country, but seen as such around the world. it is wonderful to see her back in washington as a free and a forceful leader of a country opening up to the world in ways that would have been difficult to imagine even recently. those flickers of progress that president obama spoke of last -- a year ago this summer have been growing and a strengthening in the time a sense. hundreds of prisoners of conscience have been released over the past year, including some this week. they have been legalized and a
8:07pm
cease and parliament. restrictions on the press and freedom of assembly and have eased. we have seen a loss that have -- seen laws that have been enacted to create a labor unions. the government have reached fragile fires and long-running conflict. the courage and moral leadership never wavered through the years of house arrest and persecution. she and other opposition leaders have now joined with the new government to take the courageous step necessary to drive these reforms. i have met with the president twice. in this summer in cambodia. i look forward to welcoming him to new york next week for the united nations general assembly.
8:08pm
this morning, at the state department, suu kyi had a chance to talk about the work still ahead. there is a lot of work. i think one of the important reasons for her visit at this time is to remind us of how much more still lies ahead from strengthening the role of law and democratic institutions to addressing the challenges in many of the ethnic conflicts. the government and the opposition need to continue to work together to unite the country, heal the wounds of the past and carry the reforms forward. that is also key to guard against backsliding because there are forces that would take the country in the wrong direction, if given the chance. so, we in the state department
8:09pm
and in the obama administration are certainly the first to say the process of reforms must continue. political prisoners remain in retention. ongoing ethnic and secretarial violence continues to undermine progress for stability and a lasting peace. some military contacts for north korea and further reforms are required to strengthen the rule of law, increase transparencies, and address constitutional challenges. the united states is committed to standing with the government and the people of a burma to support of this progress that has begun but is still a work in progress. we have taken steps to exchange ambassadors ease. pave the way for american companies to invest in a country that advances, rather
8:10pm
than undermine continued reform. we are both in contact with government and opposition leaders. our first ever ambassador to this new a burma is here with us today. he, along with the team and the assistant secretary kurt campbell lead not only in constant communication, but ongoing confrontation with many representatives of different constituencies in burma so that we can provide the help and support that is necessary and appropriate. last december i had the honor of visiting suu kyi in the house that was once her prison. we talked about many things,chal moving from protests to politics. that is what her country needs from her now.
8:11pm
i know a little bit about how hard that transition can be. it exposes you to a whole new sort of criticism and even i attack. it requires the kind of pragmatic compromise and coalition building that is the lifeline of politics, but may disappoint the purists who have held faith with you while you were on the outside. in the months since suu kyi got out of house arrest and into the political arena, she has proven herself to be a natural. campaigning hard, legislating well, and staying focused on what can be done right now. i think you are in for a great opportunity this afternoon. as will be many american
8:12pm
audiences in the days ahead as she has a very generous schedule of activities. i, unfortunately, have to depart back to the state department. it will be certainly a great pleasure for me now to introduce someone who is not only a nobel laureate and a hero to millions, but also a busy member of parliament and the leader of her political party. please welcome aung san suu. [applause] -- aung san suu ski. kyi.
8:13pm
[applause] >> thank you. thank you for a very warm welcome. it is good to see many familiar old faces. i was at an asia society meeting i think four years ago in new york. it was nothing like this. but i remember that was interesting and it was very interesting man, even in those days. i have been asked to speak on u.s.-of burma relations. -- u.s.-burma relations. i would like to say how happy i am to be with the people of united states and how hard you have struggle for democracy. we are not there yet, but we are getting there. we are past the first hurdle,
8:14pm
but there are many more hurdles to pass. i hope you will be with us as we make our way to the goals for which our people have been longing for 50 years because military dictatorship came to burma in a 1962. we are now in 2012. that is half a century. that is a long, long time for people to live under a dictatorship. what we have to do in the future is not just to build a democracy in burma, but rebuild a nation in a democratic mold. we looked to help from our friends who understand and appreciate the value of democracy and democratic values. speaking of u.s.-berm of bilateral relations, it is
8:15pm
shaped by politics and history. and these days, by the communications and revolutions. the two countries is particularly illustrative of the die mentions of geopolitics and history. the situation between china and india, the biggest parts in asia, and of course because we are in the border of south asia and southeast asia, our position is you make. our relationship with burma must take into consideration the situation. as soon as burma started re- engaging with the united states -- or the other way around, as soon as we started re-engaging with one another, questions were asked about how this was impacted.
8:16pm
people naturally associate u.s.- china relations with the u.s.- burma relations. there were many questions asked as to whether the united states engaged with burma was aimed at containing the influence of china in asia. this is a natural question. one that i think, if we have to answer honestly, cannot be answered simply. because, i do not think that any country could claim either the united states or china or burma, that our relations have nothing to do with the relations that we have with other countries around us. it is only natural that the united states with burma should have some impact on the united states relations with china.
8:17pm
i do not think that our relations with the united states would impact, to a certain degree, on our relations with china, but i think this could be taken forward in a positive fashion. it does not mean that because of burma is engaging now with the united states that its relations with china should be in any way deteriorating. also, it does not mean that because the united states is engaging with burma, it should be in any way seen as a hostile step to china. we can use our new situation to strengthen relations between all three countries. for us to put it very simply, it would be to our advantage for the united states and china to establish friendly relations. this would help us a great deal. this is what i look forward to.
8:18pm
burma has had a good history of preserving friendship with many different countries, following many different ideologies. it was one of the first countries to recognize communist china back in the 1950's. it was also a country which had warmer relations with india. when we became independent, we were considered the country most likely to succeed in southeast asia. this is an honor that we have lost over the last few decades, but we think we can regain this honor with the help of our friends, including the united states. bilateral relations are a product not of -- not just of geopolitics, but of history.
8:19pm
it might come as a surprise to some of you that u.s. relations in burma was seen in the light of education and humanitarian help, rather than economic or politics. to begin with, the first american to be well known -- to become well known was a missionary. i can never pronounced his first name. it is a very strange a name for me to pronounced. he was a missionary who came to burma in the early 19th century. i have the date somewhere. i can look it up. he worked very hard to establish a basis for missionary work in of burma. he gave a enough of the confidence to be able to reach out.
8:20pm
he wrote the first burmese- english dictionary. he was widely respected. he lived for many years and died when he had started out on an ocean voyage. his fate was linked to burma in very many ways. one of our first colleges is named after him. back in the old days, we had two colleges. university college and another college. it was named after the missionary i mentioned. it was a college founded by missionaries. it was the way in which americans first came to burma. missionaries engaged in a lot of educational enterprises. it is interesting that in the
8:21pm
days of colonialism, there was a distinct difference between the educational system introduced by american missionaries and those introduced by catholic missionaries. there were either catholic -- christian educational institutions in burma were either catholic or baptist. as a catholic, run by catholic priests, while the american baptist mission set up a number of schools for girls as well as boys. the girls' schools are particularly well known. the difference between the educational institution run by the american and catholic missionaries was that the american missionaries, they were
8:22pm
very keen on preserving the traditional culture and manners of the different people so that the american baptist missionary schools, the girls wore burmese costumes, but they were tunics and also, there were more inclined to take up christian and names, were as the majority of girls -- the american missionaries also encouraged the preservation of burmese matters so that products of the school were considered very proper, very well educated, but also, very much aware of the masters of courtesy. my mother went to one of these schools.
8:23pm
she went to a very famous school known as the -- high school because it was in the area. all of her life she was stamped by her years of there. very proper, very disciplined, very precise. i myself went to the english methodist high school for a number of years. it is actually an american methodist institution, although it is called an english methodist high-school. another are a lot of hints. [applause] it is ironic because my mother, in the days of colonialism when she went to the girls' school where this costume. when i went to the english met this girl school after independence, i had to wear skirts. a very strange.
8:24pm
-- but english methodist and girl's school after independence, i had to wear skirts. very strange. they had been in my mother's school back in the 1913's, i suppose, when she was there. so, education was considered very closely associated with american missionaries in those days. also, health care. i think many of you will have heard of the famous dr., the burma surgeon who spent a lot of years in the china state and ran a very well-known hospital. in the 1950's, after independence, one of the barry best hospitals in burma was that a run by adventists. so, we associated american
8:25pm
relations at burma more with education and humanitarian help. the first books i ever borrowed was from the library. that also was well-known. the importance of hollywood a films and pop music. it still continues to have a lot of influence. we were cut off from almost everything outside of our own country. the years of military rule and dictatorship between burma and the united states -- and by the way, i think i should make a
8:26pm
point of saying that there are people who prefer to burma as myanmar. it is a matter of choice. i refer to burma as burma because it is the name when we became independent. the relationship between our countries deteriorated beginning in 1962 when the first military regime -- the very first time was in 1958, but that was a couple of years and then there were democratic elections. military dictatorship was once again in 1962. it was more or less changed until 2010.
8:27pm
what is it known as -- the caretaker government for the burma socialist program. it was supposed to be a one- party government. it was very much of dominated by the military. s since 2010, of course, things have changed to a certain extent. i will come back to that later. to go back to the years of military rule, there was a phobia. it was viewed with suspicion by the regime led by the general. we lost foundlings with the west. in the old days, we had many young people to study in the institutions in europe and the
8:28pm
united states. even before independence, we had people studying in the united states. after independence, we expanded our cultural and educational ties with the united states and because of the communist insurgencies that started soon after we achieve independence, we also had military relations with your country. but after 1962, these relations of dwindled to almost nothing. it is not just for the united states, but the west in general that the military regime did not wish. particularly, after 1988, as i am sure all of you knew, there was a democratic uprising thrust the country.
8:29pm
people ask for democracy. they had dictatorship and had only brought the country from a state of prosperity to one where we were declared one of the least developed countries in the world. as a result of this uprising, the military put down the demonstrators very brutally. there was much bloodshed. the following years for some of the hardest our country has ever had to go through. from the very beginning, the united states off stood a firmly with the forces of democracy. for this, our like to thank you all of you. when people are in a difficult situation, we need a friends. we need friends who are strong and who are committed. the united states is committed
8:30pm
to democratic of values and proved to be a good friend to all of us who stood for democracy. but, in the process, relations between the governments of the two countries deteriorated. deteriorated. less and less engagement, and here, i would like to say that i have always been for an engagement. you can engage in different ways. you can engage as friends, or you can engage as people who have agreed to disagree, and this is, to me, a sad thing, that engagement between our two countries came to almost nothing during two decades. but now, the situation has changed, because of what happened in 2010. to begin with, the military
8:31pm
regime was replaced by a civilian regime, elected in 2010. i will be quite frank and say that we have grave doubts about the way in which those elections were conducted, and i think even the united states -- united nations, which is generally a very cautious about its remarks has admitted that the elections of 2010 were deeply flawed, and the government was a result of these elections. it was made up largely of previous members of the military. many of them, in fact, had been in the government, just until a few months before the elections, when they left the military to
8:32pm
contest as members of the assembly. the change brought about in 2010 was questioned by very many who felt it is not enough just to have elections, which, as i mentioned earlier, were considered to be deeply flawed and where they had a so-called elected civilian government. the democratic institutions had to be built, and the world was interested in finding out how this process was going to go, and the united states, in particular, was interested in how far on the path to democracy in burma was actually going to go. i would say that the real changes came about in 2011. i was released towards the end of 2010, but my party was then
8:33pm
operating as an unregistered political party, or sap -- shall we say de-registered. we were contesting the elections of 1990, where we won over 80% of the seats, but the results of the election were not honored, so we remained, with great difficulty, as a political party, still registered but not allowed to operate as a political party. during those years, i would say that u.s.-burma bilateral relations were democracy to democracy rather than government to government. in 2010, things began to change a little. there was a greater push for we engagement with burma, because of the new civilian government
8:34pm
and because i had been released, though my party still remained deregistered because we had refused to take part in the 2010 elections. to take part in the 2010 elections, our party would have been obliged to expel all of its members that were under detention, including myself. also, we would have been obliged to reject the results of the 1990 election, and moreover, we would have to take an oath to uphold and defend the constitution of 2008. this is a constitution which we felt was not conducive to the building of a genuine democratic society. apart from the fact of the unelected military representatives to take part in
8:35pm
all of the assemblies, from the national to the local level, it also provided for the commander- in-chief to take over all powers of government at any time that he considered necessary for the sake of the country. for this and other reasons, we felt that we could not take the oath to defend and protect the 2008 constitution. and i think to all of us, when you read the constitution, you just do not read the body of the constitution. you should read the appendices as well, which i have to say we did to begin with. we have to re-read them. and when the president made it possible for our country, for our party to be we registered, it was done on the understanding that the
8:36pm
regulations of the elections and for party registration be changed so that we would not have to expel any of our members that were under detention, and secondly, we would have to agree to abide by it and respect the constitution. i think everybody has to do that in every country. and also, there was a statement to the effect that the 1990 elections had been one, so this amounted to a withdrawal of the necessity to reject the results of the 1990 elections. well, we went in for the bi- elections last april, a few months ago.
8:37pm
we contested 45 seats. these were the seats vacated by members of the government, because under the constitution, if you become a member of the government, you have to vacate your parliamentary seat. so we contested 44 of them. we had won 43 of them, and we lost one, and this has made us the biggest opposition party in the national assembly, and when you consider that there are all together 651 members, 44 is not too much. but we found, we had forgotten to look into the words of the votes that we would have to take. these remain the same as the previous election. we had to undertake to defend and protect the constitution. there was a lot of soul-
8:38pm
searching over this. we wondered whether on principle we should refuse to do this, but politics is about compromise. it's about being practical. it's about being down to earth. and to do what is best under the circumstances. the people were very anxious for us to get in the national assembly. they understood the wording of the oath, but still the great majority of our people wanted us to enter the national assembly and represent them in the legislative process. on top of that many of the ethnic national parties that already had representatives within the national assembly were keen for us to join them
8:39pm
because they felt that this would strengthen us as -- i do not know whether i should refer to them as opposition parties, but certainly they felt that they could work together with us and that to a certain extent we could counter the overwhelming influence of the union solidarity and development party which had won. we talk about this and in the end i decided that as we were the ones who had made the mistake of not looking through all the appendices carefully, we would have to confess our mistake and to respect the will of the people who had voted for us and also to respect the desire of our friendly parties to work with us. we decided to take the oath.
8:40pm
well, i took it, but we took by election platform which is first rule of, second and third necessary amendments to the constitution. and as the constitution itself allows for amendments, but only with over 75% of the votes. which means we would have to get at least not just all the civilian votes but at least one member of the military block to vote with us, because they have 25%. still i think we did the right thing when we decided to enter parliament. i think this is when we had to start thinking very seriously
8:41pm
about new u.s.-burma bilateral relations. burma had certainly started out on the process of democratization. but how far will it go? how sustainable is it? how genuine is it? those are the questions. i think these questions have not yet been answered in their entirety. how genuine is the process. how sustainable it is. it will depend on all of us. first of all it will depend on the people of burma. the people of burma as represented by those in the legislature would have a lot to do with it. we must also remember that the reform process was initiated by the president. i believe that he is keen on democratic reforms, but how the executive goes about implementing those reforms is what we have to watch. and when we think of democracy, we have
8:42pm
to think of the three props of democracy. the three arms of democracy. executive, legislature, and the judiciary. we cannot judge how genuine or how sustainable the democratization of burma is simply by looking at the executive. neither can we do it by looking simply at the legislature. nor by looking at the judiciary. if you are to look just at the judiciary in burma, you would probably see nothing because this is our weakest arm. and this is what we are trying to build up in the legislature, through the legislature itself and through the committee for the rule of law which i'm
8:43pm
fortunate or unfortunate, i don't know, to be chairman, and we all have to work together. so new u.s.-burma bilateral relations i would like to be founded firmly in the recognition of the need to give equal weight to the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary committee -- judiciary and to judge the progress of democratization in burma by how strong all these institutions are and how well able to work as a whole to establish democratic practices in our country. our people have been resort to democratic values and democratic practices for many decades. in fact they say many of them say, very, very frankly, we really don't know what democracy is. but we don't want dictatorship. when they wrote it for us, when
8:44pm
we went around the country for the elections of april, i asked many of them why they wanted democracy and they usually would say, we want to be able to lead our own lives freely. they wanted the freedom to be able to decide their own destiny. this was a very simple wish on the part of many of our people. they also wished to be taken out of poverty, burma has become very poor over the years under military dictatorship, and u.s.- burma bilateral relations will also need to be built on policies that will help to raise us out of poverty.
8:45pm
for many years the dictatorship in burma claimed that u.s. sanctions had had no effect whatsoever and they did not care, but then lately in the last years of military rule, united states sanctions were blamed for all the economic ills of burma. not just the economic ills but other ills as well, and there is great eagerness for these sanctions to be removed. on my part i do not think we need to cling on to sanctions unnecessarily, because i want our people to be responsible for their own destiny and not to depend too much on external props. we will need external help, we will need the help of our friends abroad, from all over the world, but in the end we have to build our own democracy for ourselves. and we would like u.s.-burma relations to be founded firmly on the recognition of the need for our own people to be
8:46pm
accountable for their own destiny. we need the kind of help that has been given to us by the united states historically in the fields of education and health and the fields of humanitarian aid. our education system is in a shambles. many of our people are barely educated. 15% of our children do not go to school at all, and of the rest hardly 20% make it through high school. so burma's educational system is in dire need of reform. not just -- and we need practical help. our health system isn't exactly -- is in exactly the same situation. we need great help in the --
8:47pm
with education, with help, with the building up of democratic institutions. as i mentioned earlier, the weakest of these institutions is that of the judiciary, but we have to work very hard at it. without rule of law, you cannot have the kind of economic reforms that will lift our people out of poverty. economic relations between the u.s. and burma seem to have come to the forefront over the last several months. there is great eagerness on the part of international businesses to invest in burma. recently we produced a draft foreign direct investment law and this has been widely discussed. the first draft as came out was considered disappointing by many would-be investors, but some changes have been made to this and i believe that it will prove to be a lot more attractive than the first draft
8:48pm
that came out last month. but whatever laws we produce without the rule of law, without the kind of judicial system that will be there to make sure that the laws are upheld and obeyed, it will not provide anybody with either security or with the freedom necessary for them to operate effectively in our country. so while the united states seems to be concentrating a lot on the economic aspect of its relations with my country, i hope they will do this in full awareness of the need to promote rule of law. and to help the president and his executive to carry out the reforms they have in mind, as well as to help the legislature, to strengthen itself as a body that will protect the people's
8:49pm
interests through the laws that they enact and the laws that they amend and the laws that they simply just have to get rid of because there are many laws in our country which do greater harm than good. not too many, several, let's put it. especially the laws under which people activists have been placed in prison over the last decade. i think many of you, i have heard recently there was a release of prisoners in burma, 500, of which we understand about 90 are political prisoners, which would mean by our account that over 200 remain, 200 political prisoners remain in prison.
8:50pm
on top -- this is according to the lists, there are other lists longer than this. i think the list that is accepted by the united states is rather longer than ours. so that would be by united states count more than 300 or even more than 400 people still are imprisoned today. by our account about over 200 remain. all these will have to be freed. if you talk about genuine democratization, there should be not a single political prisoner in the country. there should be no prisoners of conscience because in a genuine democracy people should be able to act in accordance with the -- their conscience so long as they are not infringing on the rights of others. rule of law and human rights cannot be separated. it's said in the preamble to the universal declaration of human rights, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law. this is the principle to which the n.l.d. has achieved.
8:51pm
during the troubles that have arisen in -- we have always kept to this principle, that there must be respect for human rights and there must be rule of law. this is the way in which we can defuse the tensions that created the communal violence taking place -- not taking place, which took place as recently as a few weeks ago. the government has formed a commission to look into the situation. the n.l.d. is a political party seen as the opposition party, as the major opposition party. we do not want to make political
8:52pm
capital out of the situation, we want to give the government all the opportunities it needs to diffuse the situation there and bring about a peaceful settlement. we do not want to criticize the government just for the sake of making political capital. we want to have the government -- to help the government in any way possible to bring about peace and harmony in the state. whatever help is asked from us, we are prepared to give, if it is within our ability to do so. but it is not for us -- we are not in a position to decide what we do and how we operate, because we are not the government. i think this has to be understood by those who wish the n.l.d. to do more. what we can do is to declare our principles and our preparedness to help in every day we can.
8:53pm
human rights -- every way we can. human rights and the rule of law, these cannot be ignored if we are to resolve all these communal problems. and that, i think, has to be accepted by all responsible parties to ignore either human rights or rule of law or to insist on human rights and pretend that rule of -- and rule of law is a different matter, will not work. nor will it work the other way around. you cannot say we must have rule of law, but human rights is something to think about later. these two have to go together. but i'm not going to talk about this issue in greater detail now. i would also like to talk about the issue of other ethnic nationalities. fights has been going on and i understand it has intensified over the last two days.
8:54pm
we need to build up ethnic harmony in our country. in the end harmony can only be brought about through mutual understanding and mutual respect. this does not -- this cannot be built up quickly, but we have to work at it, and i believe that we need a time frame when we are talking of political settlement. we cannot keep going on and on and on saying someday we'll get there. we have to have benchmarks. we have to have milestones. we have to know when we want to get to where, at what time, and we have to work towards it. again this is not what i'm here to talk about principally. i'm here to talk about u.s.- burma bilateral relations. so what i want to say is that i would like the united states to
8:55pm
be aware of our problems. it is only by keeping up an awareness of our problems that we shall be able to establish a strong, healthy relationship between our two countries. i want our countries to be friends. you have been our friend. the friends of forces of democracy through long years, now it is time for you to be friends, friends of our whole country, of the democratic process, of our people, of aspirations. to be able to help us realize aspirations, you have to understand what they are. you have to understand what our needs are. and that is what real engagement is. trying to understand one
8:56pm
another. we, too, have to try to understand the united states. it's not a one-way business. it's two-way traffic. without understanding on both sides, we cannot be real friends. and we cannot engage in a positive way. you may say, well, what does burma have to give the united states? well, we have a lot to give you. it's not just economic opportunity for businesses, it's -- we have -- we can give you the opportunity to engage with a people who are ready and willing to change in society. this will give you the opportunity to see how you can work together to change a society because i think there are many things in your society that you wish to change as well. i don't think there is a single country in the world that can be said to be perfect and by
8:57pm
helping others you will also learn how to help yourselves. when you study the problems of a country, you will gain new insights into how you can deal with the problems relation to your own country. when we are studying the problems in the rekind stage, you will gain greater insight into the -- why the problems that exist between the united states and other countries. so i would like u.s.-burma relations to be a balanced one. a relationship that is based on mutual respect, mutual understanding, and genuine friendship. we have a long way to go. i'm very hopeful that burma will get to the point where we can say, now we are a society firmly rooted in democratic values and democratic institutions. i'm now a member of the
8:58pm
legislature, so naturally i would like to speak up for the legislature. it's a very new legislature, very new in more ways than one. the building is actually brand new. and i'm quite impressed. lots of marble and crystal and all that. we are finding our way. we have been fortunate in that both speakers of the assembly, speaker of the upper house as well as the speaker of the lower house has treated us very, very small opposition very, very fairly. they have both gone out of their way to make us feel that we are not discriminated against, that we are given consideration as an opposition party. we have also established good relations with members of other parties, including u.s. and with members of the national ethnic parties.
8:59pm
we are beginning to work together. we are beginning to learn the art of compromise, give and take, the chief mode of consensus. it is good that this is beginning in the legislature and we hope that this is spread out and become a part of the political culture of burma because the burmese political culture has been very weak in negotiated compromises. it is not the way we have worked for a good many years. but if we are to resolve the problems that now face our country, we will have to learn the art of negotiated compromise and we hope very much that the united states and other friends will help us in this learning process.
9:00pm
in the end u.s.-burma relations will be what we make of it. we here now because we are the ones who will lay the foundation for the relationship between our two countries. what happens over the next few years will decide how strong and how healthy the relationship between our two countries have been. -- will be. so i hope that all of you will take this as a common talk to be carried out together with commitment and with confidence, because i am sure that we will succeed in our endeavor. not easily. there are many, many obstacles in the way and i'm not going to talk about this because i think when the question and answer session comes everybody will talk about those obstacles and then i will deal with them.
9:01pm
may i just bring my part of this proceedings to a conclusion by saying that i would like to thank all of you for what you have done for our country in the past and i look forward to the future when we shall be able to do much for one another. thank you. [applause] >> question with -- before the questions the asia society has an award to present. would you come up. you are the awardee.
9:02pm
>> a few things first. thank you for your very thoughtful and candid comments today. and i like everyone here feels very fortunate to be here on the occasion of your first visit to the united states in some 40 years. so if you would permit me for more than three decades the asia society has been recognizing extraordinary individuals who in their lives and professions have contributed to advancing mutual understanding between asians and americans in meaningful ways. the society's global vision award is bestowed upon leaders whose values and actions promote democracy, human rights, justice, and equal access to resources.
9:03pm
aung san suu kyi embodies these qualities like no other. she was the recipient of asia society's 2011 global vision award that was given to her in absentia last january and we are delighted to have the opportunity to present it to her today in person. aung san suu kyi is the key of the national league of democracy, the n.l.d., and her biography is well-known to all and that's been led primarily by her tireless advocacy for democracy and for the rights of her people, much of that achieved over decades of detention. she was awarded the nobel peace prize in 1981 for her lifelong struggle in support of democracy, aung san suu kyi is an inspiration to the people of burma and all people in the world. as a special honor for me to present this award here today because i'm a long time visitor to burma. i'm a great fan of your country. it's a place that really touches your heart. i first went there in the mid 1970's and i have kept going
9:04pm
back probably every year since the year 2000. there is a lot to love about burma. it's beautiful. it's bountiful, and i don't one can find a kinder or more resilient people anywhere in the world. i work with a school, orphanage and medical clinic near the capital of the state and i was involved in this work by a very great man who, a man i know you know well, a patriot and a man who has been one of your close colleagues in the n.l.d. and we spent many days and nights going over the years of struggles and triumphs of n.l.d. and the challenge of finding democracy and through him i met many other supporters of your party, many of whom have spent time in prison and often under very deplorable conditions. anever met you and it's thrill for me to do so today. i got to say that all my visits to burma, none were like the one i had last year. i was there last winter and it was electrifying. good news is hard to come by
9:05pm
these days. so it's been astonishing to see so much good news coming from burma of all places. i was that for the campaign season and it was a marvel just to witness the change in attitude and spirit and hope of the burmese who after 50 years, 50 years of pretty much a brutal military dictatorship are awakening at last. your picture was everywhere i went hanging in the bye czars in the markets and it was -- bazaars in the markets and it was interesting because at one point it was illegal to possess the picture. i got a handbag that said i heart democracy. you had a great victory and for those of you as you had mentioned the n.l.d. won 43 of the 44 seats that were opened for this election. the longing for change in burma is overwhelming and while we know there will be obstacles along the way, many of you which you alluded to today, the
9:06pm
democracy you have advocated for and devoted yourself to all your life really seems inevitable. it's a thrill to watch this history being made and it's a thrill to have you here with us today. on behalf of asia society it's my honor to call you to the state. that's what it says here but you are already on the stage. it's been great to have you here. but i want -- this is an award in recognition of your decades- long struggle to promote democracy, human rights, and justice. let me present you this award. [applause] >> we were scheduled to end about 1:30, but we'll stretch it out for another 10 minutes so there will be time for questions.
9:07pm
>> we are going to jump right into it. it's an honor to co-moderate with my colleague, suzanne, who is with the asia society, their vice president global policy project. we received a number of questions from twitter, facebook, and email. so let's launch right in. suzanne. >> well, first let me say what a thrill it is to see you again. welcome back to the united states after so many long decades. i hope you know on this tour you are going to meet probably
9:08pm
thousands if not more of your supporters and friends. we are looking forward to that. you spoke a little bit about the obstacles and getting to them in the "q&a" session, this is my job. you spoke eloquently about the u.s.burma relationship and how far it's come in such a short period of time. and an emphasis has been put on economic issues.
9:09pm
you made the point just now that without rule of law the economy cannot be strengthened in a just way. now we know that the united states is considering is listing and an easing of the blanket ban on imports from burma. so my question to you is obviously such an easing would help people in your country in a meaningful way, but do you support such a move now? if so, why?
9:10pm
if not, what needs to be done to get there? >> i do support the easing of sanctions because i think that our people must start taking responsibility for their own destiny. i do not think we should depend on u.s. sanctions to keep up the momentum of our movement for democracy. we've got to work at it ourselves. and there are very many other ways in which the united states can help us -- ways the united states can help us achieve our democratic ends, can help us build up the kind of democratic institutions that we are in such need of. sanctions are not the only way. we are very, very grateful for the fact that sanctions were instituted in the past. it's helped us greatly. i do not agree with those who say that sanctions hurt burma economically, but they certainly had a very great political effect and the fact that so many people try to blame sanctions for the economic ills of the country only proves how important it was as a weapon, not that it really hurt us economically. if you read the i.m.f., i think you will find sanctions in fact have very little economic impact in burma. >> i'm going to ask you a question that actually came from twitter. the question is, there are a number of cease-fire agreements and peace negotiations ongoing in burma with the various ethnic groups, what can the burmese government do to build trust with the ethnic groups and gain their confidence that the government is in fact responsive to their concerns? and what role do you think civil society can play in that peace process in burma? >> there has been distrust between the ethnic groups and the military government of burma for very many years. and now although this is a civilian government, you have to remember that most of the members of the civilian
9:11pm
government are from the old military government, and besides the military still has a very powerful position in the achievement of cease-fires. for example the problem now in the kachin state, they believe that the cease-fire agreements will not be kept without the compliance of the military. and they are not certain that the military acts in accordance with the directions of the executive. so it's just a question of lack of trust. nobody trusts anybody else. and that needs time to build up. i think we need to learn more about conflict resolution and negotiation from those who have gone to the same experiment. i have spoken to a few people involved in conflict resolutions in other parts of the world and even one session from one session i learned a lot. so i think we have to learn how to go about it. it's not something that comes naturally. >> we received a number of questions related to the situation in rachine state.
9:12pm
if you had clarification, in the past when you addressed this issue you noted that this was a situation related -- and that would be a way to think about it. the questions were what do you mean by that? and looking forward, what is the best way to address this issue? >> to begin with i didn't say it was just to do with citizenship. i was talking about rule of law. and there are many aspects of rule of law. first and foremost of course it was a question of keeping peace in the area. the very first crime that was committed a few months ago, if that had been handled in accordance with rule of law principles, that is to say actions should have been taken
9:13pm
quickly and then justice should not only have been done but seen to be done, that would have diffused the situation, but because from the very beginning the basic norms of rule of law were not observed. the whole thing escalated and became worse and worse. and looking at it in the long term, citizenship laws come into it. we have to know who our citizens -- are citizens of burma in accordance with citizenship laws. on the other hand, we also have to examine our citizenship laws to find out if they are in line with international standards. and with basic human rights requirements. so it's not just citizenship laws when you are talking about rule of law. we are just talking about rule of law meaning to say rule of just laws citizen laws, laws of to do with crimes.
9:14pm
it all started with a crime. because the way in which the parties handled it was seen as inadequate. everything became worse. >> we have time for one more question. this actually came from an email and the question is, what can members of the pro-democracy movement known as the 88 generation, many of whom have been imprisoned in the past, as well as other activists, including exiles, do to contribute to burma's peaceful transition? what is their role? >> i don't think that all those who belong to those activist oups have to do just one thing. each person has his own strengths and weaknesses. each person has his own talents. i think they have to choose. some may be best taking part in humanitarian activities.
9:15pm
some may be best going into politics. some may do best in other directions such as literature, arts, etc. so i don't think that just because there has been activists in the past, they all have to be lumped together and they should all be expected to do just one thing. there are many things that they can do, because i assume that each one of them is different. each one of them is an individual with his own talents, his own inclinations and his own ambitions. keep't think they need to together as one organization all the time. they have to expand with the changing times. >> then the follow-up question is, are they welcomed? are they opened to participate? >> in burma? >> the question was -- >> are you talking about the ones living abroad?
9:16pm
that depends on two things, one the regulations, the government, what the regulations are with regard to the status of each individual because i don't know believe they all fall into one category. the second thing, will they be welcomed in burma? i think so. i think the people in burma would welcome back any of our citizens who have lived abroad for a long time. if they wish to come back. >> thank you. >> i think on that note, very short "q&a," but we were thrilled to have the opportunity. thank you so much for joining us. i know we will have some closing remarks, but i do want to tell all of you that this entire discussion will be available on our respective websites, usit.org and asia society.org so please tell your friends and colleagues to view it. i believe it was a very important statement from you at this moment. thank you so much. [applause]
9:17pm
>> thanks to our partners, the asian fund, the asian society, and to all those who put this together. we are going to move aung san suu kyi out of the building. if you would just hold for a minute or so and we'll let you go. we'll leave right now. san suu kyi's visit to washington continues tomorrow when she receives the congressional gold medal. you can watch live coverage beginning at 3:00 p.m. eastern time on c-span 3.
9:18pm
on tomorrow's, the washington journal," congressional efforts to avoid the fiscal cliff. accusations that the president isn't based on a so-called war on coal. we will talk to washington monthly editor in chief paul glastris. >> when i first came down to washington, my experience was we saw them occasionally. they would be our agents, law- enforcement arms. we did mortgage fraud and i started up a unit. very good law enforcement agents. i did not know the big picture of what it was doing cared when i got the job, one of the first
9:19pm
things i did is meet them. sun with those meetings, i found the inspector general, unfortunately, as they are supposedly being watch dogs looking out for fraud abuse, those are the words they are supposed to be doing, have really become for were often like any other governmental agency. the number one concern was about their budget, how to preserve their budget, there were very worried about clashing with management. they were worried about too much interactions with congress. it was really a very much go- along, get-along attitude. i kept hearing there were three different types. a lap dog who would curl up on a lack of management. that was discouraged. a watchdog, in between. and a junkyard dog. ultimately, when i was going through the confirmation process, i was told by the head
9:20pm
of the finance committee which oversaw one of my confirmation hearings that i needed to be a junkyard dog. >> neil barofsky's book, "bailout." sunday night at 8:00 on "q&a". just over an hour.s is >> board members. i am pleased you all came out tonight. this important session, a hearing from the marine corps, particularly on a stormy night. we do not just have stormy weather these days. we have a storm a situation in the world.
9:21pm
we are dealing with situations in afghanistan. we are dealing with marines that were dispatched very quickly. we all know we are facing a huge storm here at home. with a continuing resolution. strait jacket that will be put on the defense part of it. there is no adjective you can say that is to superlative to say how bad this will be. it is former secretary gates who outlined it yesterday and i talked he gave on the subject. we are in stormy times. it is good we have a leader who is part of the atlantic capitol's commanders series here tonight. the commander series here at the bennett council brings together these leaders to discuss the issues of the day. we have heard from a great air
9:22pm
force leader who just recently left his chief of staff. we have had the commander of nato. we have had general martin dempsey. we have had great leaders. we are looking forward to a another one tonight. before i introduce general amos, i want to thank the ambassador for their continuing support of this great series. it is always a privilege to introduce the service leader and a member of the joint chiefs of staff. when you work with that leader and have known that later for over three decades, it is a rare privilege. when the general was elected, a number of news reports noted he was the first aviator to begum, don. as i read those trees read -- reports,e was not an aviator, he was a marine. everything he has done in the last two years proves that conclusion.
9:23pm
before mentioning a couple of achievements, reveal to you tonight, and this is not how to classify, his secret weapon. he has a secret weapon. bonnie is a true partner and leader in her own right. together, they are an unbeatable team who care deeply about the marine families. let me give you just one small example. my great colleague and friend, a great marine corps fighter pilot, he started in the navy and the transport -- trained with jim back in 1970. you saw the handwriting on the wall. this can be attested to. i was working for a company whose headquarters were out in san diego. my son, now a major, had just come back from iraq.
9:24pm
i hear a shout and it was jim and connie. they were stationed there at the time. there was a great visit. they could have kept going. we never would have seen them. that is not who they are. they are the most engaged in positive couple. jim has confronted the challenges faced earlier. he is relentless in trying to reduce the suicides, an effort he started with the general when he was -- when pete was the vice -- -- they have increased the lifeline to these troubled marines. i know this is an issue and ways deeply on their hearts every day. you have to take on a tough -- a suspect -- assess the future. he had been in the pipeline a long time.
9:25pm
this was the vehicle to get it on. he took decisive action any mapped out a more promising alternative. despite the fact the joint chiefs are really no longer officially in the acquisition process, he jumped smack dab into the middle of the version of the joint strike fighters and in short it got back on track. he knew as a marine, not an aviator, that support is one of the features of the marine's ability to succeed on any battlefield. the united states marine corps be the most ready when the nation is the least ready. he understands we must accomplish this with in a world of increasing threats and decreasing resources. ladies and gentlemen, --
9:26pm
[applause] >> i thought you would talk specifically about all the things going on in the world and set me up with hard questions here. thank you very much. it is my pleasure to be here. i take every opportunity i can get to tell the marine corps story. they will tell the story. they will tell the story when
9:27pm
they come back and will do so as often as they can. i will keep my opening comments here short so i can get right to your questions. this is an important time for the military. even more importantly for our nation. students of history and those who can remember back 50 years ago when the atlantic council was first formed would likely say that. helped shape -- that period helped shape the nation. before nearly 60's, long the internet, the headlines for our nation's newspaper spoke of things like the soviet union. talk about the cold war and the soviets threatening a nuclear destruction. spoke often of the bay of pigs confrontation in the near-new killer -- near-nuclear war.
9:28pm
even john kennedy when he was elected, and was taking office, it talked about him subsequently sending murderers to vietnam. this destructive to remember -- the world does not see any ending any nicer. rescue operations in texas and louisiana. elements of the second marine division deployed at guantanamo bay to enforce the base as a result of the cuban missile crisis. all the time, when our marines were getting their fair share of introductions to southeast asia and a country called vietnam, a
9:29pm
defining point in our history, for sure. similarly this past week, breens rapidly responded to the violent protests . anti-terrorism security teams were on the scene. these events occurred while others who were the costs continue to fight counter insurgency operations in afghanistan and train with our allies around the world. as we gather in this wonderful establishment for tonight causes the vatican council event, there are in excess of 30,000 marines, four deployed around the world, poised, ready to respond in a crisis. for 247 years, we have fought our nation's bows. -- battles, both large and
9:30pm
small. we fought regulars and irregulars. all is running to the sound of chaos. always ready to answer america's 911 col. -- call. our nation has always wanted a marine corps. it has always been that way. in 1952, and the wake of the nation's difficult war with the koreans, the marine corps was a ready force, highly mobile, always in a state of readiness. most ready when the nation is least ready to provide a balanced force in readiness for a naval campaign that at the same time a ground and air spite -- air strike force ready to suppress or entertain national services. >on the president needs options to answer a crisis anywhere in the world, we are able to
9:31pm
provide a force that can respond today's crisis today, not tomorrow, not next week, but today. because the events in the world are not always clear, our forces provide our national leaders with options and time. we create decision space until the required as of action can be determined. we did this in japan after the devastating earthquake and tsunami. marines moved immediately to northern japan, flying in our 44-year-old helicopters. those air crews flew for 45 days in and out of the radioactive plume of the damaged nuclear reactor while rescuing and providing relief to japanese people. we did the same 400 miles in pakistan two years ago after floods. we sailed at ramon's noticed to
9:32pm
libya to enforce the no-fly zone and to erect -- and to rescue a pilot using one of our off sprays appeared in 2010, after tough years, left our province in iraq under a victory flag. as you know, we are heavily engaged today in afghanistan's,. in the navy, we come from the sea. it is our maneuver space. the mere presence of a warship off shore loaded with marines or even the knowledge that there are potentially only a few days away from them, deters actions from the world. while services operate predominately in a single domain, the arm and on land, the navy on see, the air force and the aerospace, a marine force -- and marine corps is different.
9:33pm
we do not operate in a single domain. we operate in the lane that opens up in every stages of conflict and 4 -- prices that most likely transcends all three of the domains i just spoke of. in a temporary torain, we put in a forced to respond as quickly as required. this could be to open a door or to simply unable follow-on capabilities across the elements of our national power. leslie, since we are all concerned about the challenges facing our nation that we talked about, i thought you might be interested knowing in what america gets, the lote sticker price it pays for its core. for $23.90 billion out of $525.40 billion budget for the department of defense, the marine corps provides 15% of all duty brigades. 11% of all aircraft, and 18% of
9:34pm
all attack helicopters. seven flexible marine expedition units are deployed around the world on ships. when the nation faces sticker price for marines, it provides a force, one that has the ability to operate and stabilize the world, one that can immediately respond to a crisis, or one necessarily, rapidly scale up to meet the requirements of major war. then 10% of the budget, it has affected -- it is effective against the most likely dangers to security threats. -- dangerous security threats. i enjoy every opportunity to tell the marine corps stores. i am proud to tell. last week, the member of the joint chiefs whose sole mission
9:35pm
in life is the defense of our great nation, i want to thank each of you here to promote international security around a world. thank you. i look forward to your questions. [applause] >> thank you for your very insightful thoughts and for allowing some much time for questions and answers. i run the international security program here. we will officially be renamed and launched at our international awards dinner in new york on international security, which features intensified a much broader programming on international security issues that still retain transatlantic issues at its core but looking at all regions and a number of other functions, including long-range trends.
9:36pm
i also want to join in thanking the ambassador and sell america for their generous support. i am sure tonight will continue to generate some important insights on these issues. general, there is a lot of headline for the strategic review coming up next year. there is a potential fiscal cliff. i wanted to return to the basics. that is, the title of your talk is the role of the u.s. -- the marine corps in u.s. defense strategy. that defense strategy featured a strong emphasis on returning to asia after 10 or so years of sustained warfare. can you talk a little bit about the marine's role in that? what we have seen in terms of
9:37pm
announcements. if you could put bouns allow that and give us a sense of what might be coming next. >> i would be happy to. we are sitting here tonight. we have about 20,000 marines deployed last of the international date line right now. some are down in australia. some are aboard strips. we have probably 3500 to 4000. we never left. the pacific is actually our home. we have been there for a long time. we have a lot of experience on every island, new zealand, fighting all the way. on august the seventh to celebrate the canal. this is an area we are familiar
9:38pm
with. as the president has reoriented strategy toward the pacific, and i think it is the right thing to do, the chiefs involved in the development of the strategy, we are turning back to an area that probably we understand. we bring a lot to that part of the world. with our navy partners aboard navy ships, quite honestly, we can partner with any nation that wants to deal with us. we do not need a base of operations. we can operate off the ship. we intend to capitalize on that as we ship our forces coming out of afghanistan and we will end up with about 22,000 marines west of the international dateline. let me make a comment on the pacific. and the importance of that. it is always important to our
9:39pm
nation. we are a pacific nation. the secretary of defense said that this week. we are a pacific nation. 61% of the world popsies population lives in the asian- pacific area. 49% of the oil on world comes from russia. 15 to 28 of the world's mega cities or the asian pacific area. i think it is seven to 15 of our largest trading partners. we have five major treaties with countries of start all with from japan over to south korea and continue on down come all the way to the philippines, down to australia. there is a great interest on commerce, freedom of navigation, and it is just good for the united states to get back to the pacific. we will be a part of it.
9:40pm
i am excited for that. >> let me ask you a couple of follow-up questions. you mentioned megacities and there is some work going on here at the a bennett council on long-range trends. shows the urbanization trends we have seen are going to its telerate. we're talking about 60% of the world's population in cities by 2030. 70% by two dozen 40. -- buy 2040. -- by 2040. the future of the world will be in the cities. for good or not. while still paying attention to some of the near-term training priorities your focus on. >> if you take a look of the population growth, and the talk
9:41pm
about 15 to 28. the truth is over 75% of the world's largest cities are within about 100 kilometers, 62 miles from the coast line. the map that around world, all round europe. -- if you map that all run the world, all round asia, you would see the bulk of the population is centered along. that makes a naval forces, and i am prejudiced here, and ust marie de tocqueville, but i'm a little bit prejudiced because i think we have an opportunity as naval forces to be able to deal in that kind of environment where the population is predominantly back to the issue of urban warfare. we have kiley -- kind of got away from it. we have jumped into it with both feet in iraq. it began in bad debt. it has never left.
9:42pm
we have been heavily involved in urban warfare, both in small villages, small places we would call a bomb is of the wrote enough -- a bump in the road. we have been heavily involved in urban warfare. i think we will continue that. i think we will be involved with engagement. predominately, [indiscernible] last question, then i will turn to the audience. still sticking with asia, a general has articulated his concern that the signaling we are doing in terms of our defense emphasis in terms of asia, which is necessary to make sure we have capabilities to deal with future contingencies, he is saying it can be
9:43pm
counterproductive, that it stimulates the chinese establishment key producing counter capabilities. how do we avoid a debt -- a dynamic that brings about a conflict or a crisis that we would rather not have, but still make sure we are prepared for future? >> that is a great question. i think the secretary panetta talked on that -- touched on that when he was talking and the issue of china came up. people want to imply that because we are shipping to the pacific, that ends the confrontation with china. just the opposite. secretaire panetta said the very best thing we could have, and i am calling a relationship going,
9:44pm
but dialogue, interaction. he specifically talked military-to-military. that is actually in many cases easier because we are in a different uniform, and we come from culture differences, but there is a similarity there. secretary pretend -- panetta said the best thing we could do this to have dialogue, military to military dialogue and to develop that relationship. i could not agree more. i think it is in the very best interest of both our countries to have good relationships for trade. i mentioned 15 of our largest trading partners are in the pacific area. i wanted to outfit a cabin in
9:45pm
the mountains of north carolina with furniture. you can just imagine the little guys down there with overalls on. i bought all of this furniture. it delivered it to my log cabin. as i open the door, and rescind the one of them, every piece of furniture was made in china. we have a great commercial interest in having a good relationship with china. i think our president is ready money. let's build a relationship. build a trust and confidence. as become less transparent as we possibly can. >> thank you. i would like to open it up for questions. would you like to ask a question? i was remiss in the recognizing the vice-chairman of the center who is here in attendance.
9:46pm
any questions? yes. >> the evening. i am an employee who works in to support of the marine corps. in support of the international fares plants. my portfolio, my colleagues worked with corporation. spoke to the readiness in your ability the marine corps has in the relationship. do you speak to the effects the sequestration is going to have with building those relationships and enhancing those relationship in the asia- pacific region? >> my good friend said there is no adjective or superlative that could describe. i would be honest with you, the sequestration happens and all of our engagement will be on the table. we will have to look at everything, the strategy we
9:47pm
spent all last fall developing and the president announced in february. that will all have to be back on the table. the ability to be able to do security force assistance, engagement, the things like international military education training, all of that will have to be laid out and we will end up having to make business decisions as a nation, and then at the department of offense -- of defense as to what we can afford. it is the same way on all of the service teams. we have at the end of the day when you take all the things inside, whether it be an exchange or dod school, and that and not want to see all of that on the front page of the washington post tomorrow, but you taste all that aside the
9:48pm
marine corps and exists to be that crisis response force. we have all of the other things that are a part of to help us do that paired our families. there are all very important. as i looked at these things, when sequestration, if that happens, when the dust settles, it will be a while before the economy settles and we realize how much money you have. what i have told everybody at that point is i will go back to fundamentals for the united states marine corps. i have to provide that for the american people. i have to provide that for congress. i have to provide the for the president of the united states. i will do whatever i can. so i can provide the force that we're the most ready when the nation is the least. people, things come in training.
9:49pm
i have to get it up and it has to be balanced. i will end up having to do that. we are a long way away from that in getting to that. i think the sequestration will be very painful. what i worry about, we in washington understand -- we know how to spell a word. -- the word. you go across america and they do not know. it is not because -- they just do not understand it. people say, do you want to balance the budget and you want to pay your bills? they say, yes. sequestration is the way to do it. they have no idea what it will do to the defense of our country, the fact that we are a global power and abruptly to influence could come all those things that think will be in jeopardy. -- things i think will be in jeopardy. >> thank you for your distinguished service. you are doing a great job.
9:50pm
i would like to complement you, especially the young marines do at the burial detail ceremony the other day. >> thank you. >> they did a terrific job and did a great service for our country and also your marines. you mentioned garland. did you envision -- darwin. how would it become your eighth? -- would it become your eighth? do you see more news on the horizon that congress will authorize you to put in more and
9:51pm
more news? >> let me answer your last question. there is not a plan for more. it is about 2500 marines it is reinforced. the flow -- flocked around the world. we have to rerun of world renown. one in the pacific. one sailing on monday. heading out. i think it did head up. they are very handy. i actually did for the first few days, i control the air and the airplanes that were flying off
9:52pm
in the no-fly zone. picked off the air force pilot. they do a lot. i do not see, there is no talk. we have seven and i am increasing to eight or nine. two of australia, we were down about one month and a half ago. we rather to -- were there to get a sense of where we are headed as two nations and two military. so we started and it was terrific and we were warmly to is -- received. here is the point i like to make. as i sat with their head of policy at the mod, he said, would you turn around and look at the map on the wall. i turned around and there was a map. australia was right in the center of it.
9:53pm
right over here, was indonesia, malaysia, vietnam, thailand, you could see it all. the indian ocean. australia was right in the center. up there was japan and korea and way over here you could just see honolulu. he said, that is why our two nations need to continue with their relationships and their alliances, because look at where we are in the world. i thought, i would tell you how impressed i was. i came back and told my guys i wanted a map just like that for my office. i understand what he was trying to say the value of our relationship with australia, who has been a traditional partner
9:54pm
with the united states of america for the army, the air force, navy, the marines, we continue to this day to fight shoulder to the shoulder with them. they can help us when you start thinking about the asia-pacific area. they have relationships with some of these countries that we do not have. we have a good relationship with them. i see goodness out of this thing. that is how i sensed the importance. very well received. do i see something on the ground there? i do not think so. the two countries agreed that when the timing was right and when everything -- there is a whole lot involved here. we will eventually get up to about 2500 marines in darwin. that force that will be there will look probably a lot like
9:55pm
an expert venture unit. it will ebb and flow. sometimes there will be more and -- infantry on the ground. there will always be logistics'. but it will probably be about 2500. it will probably have a reinforced aviation squadron. that is out in the future. that is an agreement our two nations are working towards. right now, we have 200 marines. a marine infantry coming out. they will come out and we will come back in in march. i'm guessing for probably a couple of years.
9:56pm
when are they comfortable, when of the comfortable in increasing the number. the training is phenomenal. we have seen some benefits. the company was on darwin for 90 days, i think it went to thailand, singapore, participated in exercises and then came back. >> the third row. >> hello. the question is about a marine corp's pentium has been sent to deal with the anti-american demonstration. the student government seems to refuse that. are there any actions that can be taken? another thing is, according to the general, there is a battle in the future.
9:57pm
anything memory cards are dealing with that? >> two questions. we sent a team to yemen. what is the marine role in battle? >> we have 18 teams in the marine corps. we have three companies. they are predominantly headquartered -- >> we dispatch those around the world. they have some in the central command. they have some in the european command. we have esteems come a percentage of those that are at all times. the fast teams that went into yemen came out of the central command, the fast team that went into tripoli when out of the european command. right now, those are stable. we have other fast teams placed. we have some of them deployed. that is really a decision our
9:58pm
president makes. the state department makes. the commander makes. even more importantly, the sovereign nation that the fed's team could deploy. a sovereign nation has to say yes. we like the fast team to come in. it is one of those shock adores. it is one of those things the leadership has in their pocket. if things start getting out of control, then we can deploy a fast team in. there are no plans i am aware of right now to deploy fast teams. they are sitting ready and they are on before our tether. in many cases, they are sitting and ready to go. us take a second question. >> about the battle. is there a marine role in that? >> there is.
9:59pm
i think it is developing. i think it is a large role. when you start taking a look at coastlines, we are talking thousands of thousands of linear models of coastline, one of the things that forces do,nd the practices and exercises and other war plans to run the world, we actually put the country might go to war with on the horns of a dilemma. you cannot possibly defend an entire coastline. you cannot defend every single asset. it is impossible. because we are seaborne, i mentioned earlier the sea is hour maneuver space, we are -- we can go anywhere we want.
10:00pm
the enemy has no idea where we are. all the sudden, he finds himself with a formidable force on the planks. i think we are in the process of developing that and making sure the marine corps, plus the fact we will have their plans. we have actually pretty strong capabilities. i think there will be a very strong role for the united states marine corps battle. the battle is kind of developing right now. it would be a mistake to think the battle is a concept of operations. the battle is a phase of an operation. it is an ability to get through a highly defended access- tonight environment. --
10:01pm
but it is a phase. it is not the operation, but a piece of the operation. pohick >> let me follow up and take things in a different geographic direction. the real working with our trans- atlantic allies on global challenges. it strikes me that marines were so central to the challenges in afghanistan in the past 10 years, working with isaf and a lot of european militaries as well. how do we leverage the opera ability gains and the familiarity and the scale of working together with our european allies for this future? undoubtedly, we will be working with them again in the middle east in various capacities in operation and there are lessons to be learned and gained in our workings with europe. i do not know if you have thought about that feature. >> i have, and i will say there
10:02pm
has been a little bit of a misinterpretation. because the strategy talks about the focus in the asia-pacific area, while maintaining and -- a focus in the central area. that means that africa and the middle east are not part of that strategy -- europe and africa are not part of that strategy, and the truth is, they really are. we just spend last week with all the combatant commanders and the service chiefs and the secretary. if admiral stock bradys were here, he would remind all of us about " what the percentage of military expenses is by nato. it is huge. it is the enormous. if you take all of nato to gather and add up what their
10:03pm
military budget is, it is significant. and he is quick to remind us of all of that. we have that partnership and we have developed it. it is our very best interest to continue. i am absolutely confident we will. we may move capabilities around the world, but the importance of europe, the importance of our alliance and nato and interoperability between our allies -- you know, we still train today. and we have marines over the black sea right now working in the black sea rotation. this is just my service. the u.s. army has a lot of forces in europe. it is in our best interest to continue to build that alliance. and the nato alliance, you go back to when nato said, ok, i'm going to step in the -- into the
10:04pm
center of the war and be a key player, they have done really well. i think is in our best interest and will always be that way. and by the way, we have great interest in africa and central america. and south america. we have u.s. marines down in columbia. colombia is one of the best success stories of a turnaround in a country that was consumed by that. we have been down there for probably could 15 years training side-by-side with the colombians. there is too much goodness. i have every intent -- intention of continuing those alliances. >> bruce kiplinger, senior fellow at the heritage foundation and father of a platoon commander. turning back to the peace
10:05pm
accord, under the marine corps realignment plan, marines are moving further east to bomb and beyond, further from the humanitarian disaster areas. -- to qualm and beyond andguam and beyond, for their from humanitarian disaster areas. does the u.s. have enough left to do that? and are there things that can be overdone about the image problem? are there steps that can be done either on okinawa or japan at large? >> will come back to the osprey in a second. to do what needs to happen in the but the big with regards to strategy, we need to be able to, again, go back to australia. take a look at that part of the world in from that perspective. there is not an uplift. and that is one of the things
10:06pm
that we are struggling with. capital shares are expensive. -- capital ships are expensive. and i work with this budget. you put a capital ship in this budget and that is a lot of money. imagine the budget is already pressurized. imagine the $487 budget control act laid out are the next 10 years. and then put sequestration on top of that. if you have a strategy that talks about the pacific and the importance of it, and all of this and the ability to be able to build capital ships as a result of budget pressures and sequestration, then there is probably little hope within the budget to be able to build what you need to have. the next question is how you get around it. there are doors to get through
10:07pm
this. nardelli high-speed vessels. that is in the budget. those things are very effective. there is a limitation to will. there is a c-state limitation. you can normally move about three c-states. i flew for what seemed like days to get down there, to cross the deadline and the equator to get down there. there are great -- creative ways of using air left, using ships that we currently have. i even told my commander in the pacific, i said, look, don't wait for a perfect solution set. if we have to hire commercial ships, i'm willing to do that in the meantime.
10:08pm
but let's not wait because the strategy is too important. we will hope that the resources catch up with it. i am hopeful. it is always a strain on left. who -- on a lift. and it has always been a strain. it is not because these are bad people. it is because you have a finite amount of assets. when you start talking ships, it is very expensive. the second part on the ospreys cannot i was there when we came out of australia and ended up after passing through many countries, including korea and then back into tokyo. we were sitting there on the north line. they were almost brand spanking new airplanes. the secretary of defense, more
10:09pm
remote, and yesterday's call we had been through this in morocco. we give them a copy of the accident investigation. we took their assessment team down to new river. we put them in the simulator and actually showed them the mishap from applying them on a simulator and a couple of them around in an airplane. the u.s. armed forces coming forward and they have done an example of the same thing. the japanese government has the effect of the two mishaps. it is a tragedy. in our case, we lost two crew chiefs. i do not ever want to downplay that. it is serious. but both accidents were not caused by mechanical failures. your point about when people write about the of spray that is
10:10pm
always ... and then they write about something else. the airplane themselves, but when you build an airplane and you feel insecure, you take a look at how it performs in the first 100,000 hours. that airplane is tied for first place across all of the airplanes we've ever built. all those we are flying right now and all that we are flying overseas and all aircraft carriers. it is tied with the mvcv-22 andy special helicopter. -- and of the special helicopter. it is a great tragedy that we had happened in morocco, and i cannot pull that back. but we went for years without
10:11pm
having in his hat. the airplane has been restructured. when you go into afghanistan now, and you fly, and i do all the time, and everybody wants to fly around osprey. there is a reason for that. i am very optimistic. i am optimistic that our two nations will have to work through this. i am a senior pilots and i just flew a 646 around okinawa just about three weeks to go. i know the area well. i am equally as mindful of my responsibilities for the safe operation of that airplane for
10:12pm
the people of okinawa. the citizens of that great nation are mindful of those who will be flying and have family members there. i take that very state -- very seriously. it is a heck of a capability and it is in the best interest of the alliance to have that. >> time for a few more questions. the gentleman in the second row. give him the microphone, please. >> said verona, president of the u.s.-russia business council. but i am here because i am the father of a marine. >> he is deployed right now? >> he is deployed. he called me and said he could not say where he was. he could not say which ocean he was over.
10:13pm
i wonder if you could answer some questions related to morale. we're coming off a long engagement in afghanistan. we're coming off of some downsizing and we have on some people's minds. and we are dealing with some of the thorny issues in the last few years with don't ask, don't tell, with women coming into the combat infantry training and so forth. can you talk about the reaction that you are seeing with the rank and file and how you are dealing with that? >> what is your sense? what does your son say? what is his sense? >> my son says that when a marine stopped complaining, something is wrong. [laughter] >> there is a lot of truth to that. >> my sense is that his morale is pretty high. he did a deployment in afghanistan. he came back and things to be coping well with it.
10:14pm
i think it is a tribute to the core that instills a high degree of esprit de corps and people learn how to compensate for these fluctuations. but one cannot help but pick up a little bit of concern about where things are going, and in particular, cutting scores and reenlistment bonuses and things like that. >> thank you for that. and thank you for loaning your son. i mean that sincerely. the interesting right now -- and when i say this, you are going to say, well, he is a service chief, and so he has to say this. actually, i am a service chiefs and i do not have to say this, but i will say it anyway. morale has probably never been higher than it is right now. marines feel good about doing what they are doing. and how do i know that? first, i talked to them.
10:15pm
there are actually pretty forthright. you can measure of the mental health of the happiness of a unit by how things are with reenlistment, how things are with young men and women standing at the door trying to get in. when a young man or woman finishes their first four years, they have an opportunity to learn a decision. do i stay on and extend my contract? do i go to work for the family business? if you go to school? or whatever it is i'm going to do. it reenlistment right now is as high as it has ever been. we are challenged because we are drawing the marine corps down from 202,000 down to about
10:16pm
182,000. which means the competition tuesday in -- to stay in is very keen. we have a higher number of young men and women who want to stay by a factor of probably three or four than we have space for. reenlistment is high. if you want to become an officer in the marine corps today -- and i know this because i tracked it. i was just working it this weekend. i would have never made it. carl smith, probably, neither one of us would have never made it. here is the average score for a young marine officer. the s.a.t. score is 1250. the 3.22 gpa. no felonies. none of that kind of stuff. no nasty tattoos that are visible, which is difficult in today's society. and you are heavily involved in
10:17pm
sports and heavily involved extracurricular activity. the 3.22 gpa and sb -- s.a.t. scores at 1250. that is just to make the cut. then you start talking about -- i mean, i looked at a record this weekend that had an s.a.t. score of 1550. i did not even know it went that high. [laughter] that is twice as high as karl smith's and mind. -- and mine. ok, so you say you want to be enlisted marines and i don't want to go through all of the s.a.t. stop. eight months if you sign up today. if you go to a recruiter in downtown washington d.c. and you sign up and assuming you are morally, physically, mentally, and every other way qualify, you are looking at eight months. we do not have room for you. it will be eight months before
10:18pm
you ship to san diego. that is an indication that young men and women want to come in. our officer retention is probably higher today than i can ever remember. i mean, it is in the 90's. i am talking captains. captains do not like that stuff, they are the ones doing the heavy lifting. actually, they are the ones that want to stay. it is the 90th percentile. i tell you what i worry about. so that is all good. and by the way, just like our brothers in the army, we have been in some pretty tough times. we have 1123 marines now killed in action since we crossed the border in march of 20 -- of 2003. almost 1500 wounded.
10:19pm
we tell them that it is going to be hard. we deploy them around the world and we have been living up to that promise. and i'm not trying to be corny. i think that is why the marines like? . what i'm concerned with now is as we come down out of 2014 where we have withdrawn our forces out of afghanistan down from the major operations, so to speak, i'm going to have to make sure my young men and women see job satisfaction and are motivated to go to places like the pacific, to go on board ships. and avoid draft work my way through that.
10:20pm
the bulk of mawr marines are the warriors. in the 1970's, 1980's, and in the 1990's, there was not a lot going on. that is probably my greatest concern. not so much now. morale now is really good. how am i going to keep that up? and i say, you know what to my kids right now -- and i say kids with great love and affection. young men and women, they step forward and they are willing to sacrifice. it does not matter what generation we are talking about. they are selfless, courageous, and willing to step forward and give of themselves, and they are doing it by the thousands. i'm just worried that as we come out of that, i'm going to have to promise them something.
10:21pm
that is why ostrow is probably a really good deal. that is a heartfelt answer, and that is the truth. >> the second row. >> dan taylor, inside the navy. talking about the v-22, it has had the first deployment in our part -- in iraq and afghanistan. i'm wondering how you see that aircraft devolving -- the balding in the region? >> it has a great record. it is on its 15th deployment. if 13 or so combat deployment. as you think asia pacific let me
10:22pm
give you some figures that will get your attention. in the asia-pacific area, every single year over 70,000 people are killed by natural disasters. tsunami, earthquakes, cyclones, and i just talked to my commander in okinawa on sunday. he had the latest typhoon go through. the latest typhoon had gone through about two weeks before that. all of that when i landed in manila, they had just had a typhoon that sat over the philippines for almost two weeks. but when i landed in manila five weeks ago or whatever it was, the skies had just cleared and
10:23pm
we have landed. howff of manila was under water. hundreds and hundreds have lost their homes -- i mean, thousands have lost their homes, and hundreds had died. the asia-pacific area is prone to natural disasters of almost epic proportions. how does the be-22 fayed in there? i can fly from okinawa to the philippines nonstop and provide relief. i can do it in nine hours islandsi've got little where i can stop and refuel all the way down. and when i get there, i have a combat radius of about 110 miles, which means i can fly out to someplace and lawyer for about 20 minutes and then come back.
10:24pm
in the v-22 you do not have to do that. in all the advertisements from 2001 through 2002, it flies 2.5 times as fast, it carries two times as much, and goes for * further, and that is actually true. there are massive areas of water and huge amounts of potential goodness for our .aon's and i think -- i am optimistic that our nations will work through this. >> i think we are out of time, unfortunately. thank you for the enormous depth and breadth of the discussion from the asia-pacific to the middle east to europe.
10:25pm
you are very active in taking care of our veterans and active duty personnel. thank you for coming here and sharing. >> [applause] thank you] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> tomorrow, a homeland security director janet nepalitano and matthew olson about security threats. we'll have live coverage at 10:00 a.m. eastern time on c- span, c-span radio, and at c- span.org. the country faces the most stark choice for president in my memory. the president and i have a fundamentally different vision
10:26pm
than: ronnie and congressman ryan and dave different values said. >> he looks to government as the great benefactor in every life they say that government is the only thing that we all belong to. i do not know about you, but i never thought that government is something i belong to. >> watch as the campaigns move toward the october debates. the vice presidential debate will be october 11 in kentucky. the presidential candidates will face off in three debates. follow our coverage on c-span, c-span radio, and online at [unintelligible] the -- c-span.org. >> unfiltered truth of what they are saying, when they are saying it, and why.
10:27pm
beyond that, i would like to use people as a term is up for what is happening in the country. one show i really enjoy is "washington journal" because the calls are uncensored and you what people are thinking. and the topics are very current. i know what conservatives are thinking and liberals are thinking. it allows you to get your arguments before walking in the door. >> c-span, created by america's cable companies in 1979, brought to you as in public service. >> british foreign secretary william haden testified before the parliament's foreign affairs committee today in london on a wide range of foreign-policy issues, including afghanistan and the protection of diplomats abroad.
10:28pm
he talked about the recent death of u.s. ambassador to libya, chris stevens, sanctions against iran, and a dispute with ecuador over the asylum for wiki-leaks founder julian assange. >> i am delighted to welcome the foreign secretary here as the key witness. and i also welcome the director of the north african revision and the chief operating officer.
10:29pm
gentlemen, thank you for coming this morning. as you might imagine, there is a lot that we can be going through here. i very much want to focus on syria, iran, and afghanistan. in light of the developments in afghanistan in the last 24 hours, we might start with afghanistan. man asked what extent, you are aware of the strategy developed in afghanistan in dealing with these incidents? >> there has not been any change in strategy. this is primarily for the defense secretary to speak about. i was discussing it with him this morning and he spoke to the house about it yesterday.
10:30pm
there is more change in the strategy. the impact of the isaf finance ment will be quite minimal on the u.k. operations. there was reference to a number of measures under consideration. when this is one of those, but isaf was very clear that it is not a suspension of operation. is about affecting and mitigating the risks associated with conducting partner operations. we are expecting any change on u.k. operations to be absolutely minimum. of course, this is not a strategy. and the ministry of defense would be aware that there are
10:31pm
many things they look back to tighten things up. >> he did not mention a history, one is left with the impression that he was caught slightly by surprise. >> you have to speak to the secretary about that. i think he said what some of the measures were to tightenings out. these things are for military commanders. it is entirely for them to make these decisions and announcements and not be second test by any defense or foreign ministers. i'm sure the defense secretary will be able to expand on that, but it is not a necessary strategy. it does not mean? where u.k. troops -- which does not mean that where u.k. troops conduct operations and partner with the isaf units is going to change. there will be a change of command to be filtered in a
10:32pm
different way. in this case, the regional commander, the two-star general will be responsible. but in some of the media coverage i have seen this morning, it is way overstated in terms of what it means as far as the operation. >> thank you. >> when did you first hear of this change? >> in one case, it is not the reorganization of the -- the troops and the i several on this are not my own responsibility. i heard about this this morning. >> it is not the thing responsible for the sudden change in tactics? >> and no, it really is not. i would say the impact on troops is minimal. there is no change to the .artnership, relationship
10:33pm
they are now focusing on the commanders and their staffs, while the partners within that area, such as a checkpoint and outposts, that is not going to change. there are a number of measures that have been taken. and the defense secretary has spoken about these to try to reduce the risks of green on blue attacks. a number of those have been taken over the last few weeks, such as the relevant troops carrying less, such as greater background checks on all things of afghan concern. greater emphasis on the need to get recruits. identity verification and
10:34pm
requiring authentication by district or provincial governor. and this change that isaf is talking about here in the authorization for working with afghan troops is another one of those things to mitigate the risks. it is not going to change the way that the u.k. troops work with afghans. >> it is a change in practice. >> a change in process. >> it is a change in the practices that have existed up until now. >> no, it is not the suspension of the operations. we are talking about a change in isaf's own processes. it is not a change in how our troops work with the afghans. >> if it is not a change, why isn't there a change in light of these events? >> that is not the argument.
10:35pm
why isn't there a change? because partnering with afghanistan is essential to what we are doing and it is important not to be derailed. it is very important to not be derailed from that. afghan troops are now conducting 40% of operations on their own. and more than 80% of the training. and they are able to do that because of the partnering that we and our allies have done. it is neither desirable nor necessary for that to change. in fact, it is necessary in order for the changes that i have described. >> what of these things fall directly within your responsibility -- it does not
10:36pm
fall directly within your responsibility, but it does have an affect on the changes with afghanistan. what diplomatic affect has it had to bring home to president karzai the fact that these incidents, when they occur, they have a very influential opinion -- impact on the relations of these countries. some are rather optimistic about bringing the troops home by christmas. the suggestions have been made to president karzai on that? >> i think this has been discussed with president karzai in recent days. president karzai is as much opposed to them as anybody, of course. and he is fully in favor of the measures we are taking to
10:37pm
mitigate the risks. i think the impact on public opinion is understood in afghanistan that, of course, is what is intended. that is the paradigm of intent. it is important to reaffirm what we are doing in afghanistan. our objective will not be changed. and our work will not come to an end because of these attacks. we will defeat this threat as we have defeated so many threats. and we have said that is how we will proceed. our troops will not be engaged in combat or anything like the numbers they are now in afghanistan after 2014. and in the future, as to how we will help finance the security forces and lead in the training academy, we will persist in those things and defeat the the threat as we have defeated others. >> as to what you said to
10:38pm
president karzai at the president cannot -- at the present, he is the one that bears the responsibility after 2014. >> there will be a new president-elect after 2014. >> assuming he wins the elections. >> of will not prejudge what will happen in afghan politics -- >> [inaudible] >> i'm not betting on anything, but that is the afghan constitution. the president of the afghan, whoever that will be, that is who will be responsible for that. and the majority of the troops want to succeed and they want to see that long term to the future -- a long-term commitment to the future of our afghanistan.
10:39pm
and that should be clear. and i make it clear to them now that our strategy has not changed in afghanistan, and it will not change in the face of these attacks. to give any other response is increased incentive for such attacks. >> thank you. >> you said the media reports today were overstating the significance of green on blue attacks. i wonder if you are not in danger of understating the significance? the whole thrust of our policy in afghanistan is you have previously said to this committee that we train the afghan national army and the police of to a a sophisticated standard to deal with a determined and sophisticated enemy.
10:40pm
is it not the case that if we let the taliban continue to do what they are doing, which is to target date necessary interface between kurdish forces and the afghans, this is going to impact seriously our ability to train afghan security forces. does this not pose the question of whether we should bring them up to the necessary sophistication in skill to deal with the taliban after we have left? >> there would like to think so, when in the face of that, it is important to overcome that with determination. and not to succumb to that. it is important at all times to give our troops the maximum
10:41pm
possible protection and for them to be able to protect themselves. that is why the m.o. de has taken the measures that i have described and -- of the mod has taken the measures that i have described. they have pursued many different ways, as you know, as was 3 improvised explosive devices and -- through improvised explosive devices and they have not won in any conventional sense. while we have not given in to ied's, and we have improved our ability to deal with them about we have to improve our ability to deal with other things. that is what is going on now. i do not think we should raise the specter of a major change in our approach to afghanistan.
10:42pm
because we need to overcome this problem now. >> and do you not think the announcement that is being made in the last 24 hours is not going to provide an incentive and encouragement to encourage this course of action? >> welton mono. i read out some details a few minutes ago -- well, who know. i read out some details a few minutes ago about some changes in provisions while the partnering of afghan forces takes place. the impact on british forces and how they conduct what they do in afghanistan is expected to be minimal. i do not think, the taliban or anyone else would see that as a significant change.
10:43pm
>> there has been very serious scrutiny of these attacks by the coalition forces. of course, israelis have to work out exactly what is going on, but the best study has shown that three-quarters of these attacks are not conducted by the taliban and that these people are not in any way connected to the taliban. why do you insist that these are connected to the taliban attack? >> they are the type that the taliban would like to see. some of them are organized by the taliban. others are by people who sympathize with the taliban. i think that shorthand is a fair enough description. >> as far as we can see, there are no links between these people and the taliban. is that not something that we should be taking on board and is that not something more serious? >> of course, it means that
10:44pm
merely identifying the origins or background of the people involved is not sufficient. you have to have the forces with an increased ability to protect themselves. that is why one of the things that has been brought in is having a personal weapon at all times. of course, there's a predictable element that you stay. and that is the case that not everybody that is opposed to international forces being in afghanistan is a supporter of the taliban. that is absolutely right. but i think the response is that saying that the measures that we take to mitigate the risks are the same. >> it has been almost two years since the peace council was set
10:45pm
up. and 3.5 years since officials of the front office began speaking about political negotiations with the taliban. in your response to a 2011 report, you said, we need to take advantage of military and civilian gains made in 2011, a year of reconciliation and transformation. how successful have been? >> we have not succeeded in i get. that does not reduce the importance of continuing with those efforts. not all those efforts are ones that we can get a running commentary on, of course. but we do have them with the government of afghanistan and pakistan. to sayt be able everything we do and that we have succeeded yet.
10:46pm
we have not succeeded in bringing health and stability yet to afghanistan. but we will continue to do so. >> is there any sense of when one would need to, achieve that kind of scenario to decrease the threat of a war? >> to begin with, i think the important point to make is that this is not a process that works according to a timetable. like any negotiation, any negotiation of conflict in the world, it would not be possible to do that. the military time tail -- time table is set by the afghan security forces and their ability to cope on their own. and they are coming up this october to their intended strength of 352,000. in total, they are on track to
10:47pm
meet their intended strength. i do not think there needs to be a deadline for reconciliation. which might take place in the overall settlement, or it might be a partial reconciliation in a settlement or in stages, or at the local level. it is a far more complex situation and when you can put a date on. i do not think that once the chance to do so expires with the involvement -- i do not think that the chance to do so expires with the involvement of our troops through 2014. well'll ability to perform will continue and continue to increase. this may continue to be a long process. >> if, for whatever reason, the taliban were not prepared to engage constructively in a
10:48pm
political settlement, do we have an alternative strategy? what would be partners do if we were unable to achieve successful negotiation with the taliban? >> that would be a more the gulf situation in afghanistan. but we will continue with our military plans, our commitment to 2014 being cleared. " we have set out to do with our allies is to make sure that the afghan security forces do have the strength and ability to operate from their own. they are already leading insecurity. and in -- in the security over a large part of afghanistan. that is crucial. and they will have to continue to meet the consequence of
10:49pm
those, and without british forces being deployed in a combat role. >> there is a piece in the times that you may have seen about troop strength. that has proved to be very controversial. -- about drone strikes. and that has proved to be very controversial do you have any comments about drone strikes? but i do not know that i have any comment on them in public. >> according to the report, it says that political reconciliation might be hampered by the continuing use of drone strikes. it talks of civilians being killed in drone strikes and military individuals as well. almost 300 people have been killed in drone strikes.
10:50pm
it is a very controversial issue. and clearly, and this speech that we have seen today, there is a typical buyer room -- [indiscernible] >> there are a lot of assumptions about our intelligence, and some are accurate and some are not. -- some are not accurate and some are not. i gathered in a speech about the role of services, which was not about how we use or share intelligence with our partners. which is an important consideration for them as well as for us.
10:51pm
i do not confirm or deny the use of intelligence in any context. and i'm not able to change that position. people do make arguments about drone strikes. and there are legitimate arguments before and against them. the united states has put the argument for why -- for what they do and why they do what they do. and there are arguments that can be put against them. but we do not comment on them. we cannot reveal how we use british intelligence. >> if you see it as something that could hamper the peace talks, if it does? >> how we use british intelligence, which is what you are really asking, -- i understand the reason for asking, but i'm sure you understand the reason why i will not expand on that board go into
10:52pm
that. it is not something i can discuss, and the use of drones or the lack of use of drums. that is for the state. and anything we do ourselves in any area has always been aligned with international law. but i cannot comment on whether we use our own intelligence or not. >> is our policy to support these drones in afghanistan. >> that is a matter for the united states and pakistan and afghanistan. it is nothing that the british bombardment decide. it is a matter for the states concerned. -- it is nothing that the british government can decide. it is a matter for the states' concerns. >> my question is pakistan. >> our concern is our own
10:53pm
military operations. i do not feel i can go into those in public leader. >> you know where i'm coming from on this. our mission in afghanistan has been confused almost from the start. when we succeed in our original mission in clearing al qaeda out of afghanistan, which was relatively early, the mission morphed into a nation-building exercise. and the mission of human-rights has plagued afghan cents. -- since then. in a statement to the house on thursday, the secretary made clear that nation-building was central to the strategy. and yet, on the same day when visiting troops in afghanistan, he said, now that the outcry has
10:54pm
been eliminated from afghanistan, it is not enough to ask her to put their lives on the line for nation building, but for national security interests. what is the mission there for? >> i don't think there is a contradiction. our objective is to protect our national security interest. we can be unequivocal about that. continue, the work they're continuing the afghan to kurdish forces -- the afghan security forces, there is a part of being able to promote reconciliation and also assist afghanistan in its own social and economic endeavor. >> let's be clear about this, because there is confusion ohere
10:55pm
perinto. you are saying that it is in the national security interest to be there and not to nation building. if there were nation-building, ensuring human rights and elections, they did not necessarily a sign up for all of that. that does not have to do with defeating the taliban. what exactly is the mission? are you saying it is the national security interest and nation-building? >> i would say both. our objective is to protect and maintain our own national security. the mission is subjective.
10:56pm
and many are our own military. it also encompasses a great deal of the work. >> he would accept that al qaeda was essentially defeated in afghanistan many years ago. what this mission has now more often to is taking on the taliban and other elements. i take it they are not a homogenous group. and this is a nation-building exercise. to many, this mission has more to into something else. if we are there to protect our national security interest, the defense secretary said something very interesting. that is, we have to adopt a sort of northern ireland style approach to negotiations. do you believe that we are doing enough to pressure
10:57pm
americans to open nontraditional talks with the taliban. the american position has said that at least publicly, will only talk to the taliban if they lay down their arms and accept the constitution. that will not happen. we have to get real about this. we ought to have non-traditional talks with the taliban. if national security interests are taliban it -- are paramount in afghanistan, then are we doing enough to change that view? >> the american view has developed over the last few years the same as ours, i think, in being in favor of reconciliation. in being open to having discussions with all to bring about reconciliation. >> are you saying that their position has changed in that
10:58pm
americans, supported by that view, will now have conditional talks with the taliban and they do not have to lay down their arms and accept the constitution as a precursor to those talks? >> it is the view of all involved, including the afghan , that reconciliation has to include acceptance of the afghan constitution, and going away from violence. >> these are two separate things. i'm suggesting that before you get to reconciliation, you have to talk. you make peace with your enemies, not your friends. you how to talk with the various parties around the table the play a role in afghanistan. no one can deny that have -- that the taliban and should be
10:59pm
excluded from that. is it the american position supported by the british, or is it the british view at the very least, that we should have non- traditional talks with the taliban? the american point of view was expressed early recently that they will not even talk to them or negotiate with them until they lay down their arms and accept the constitution, which they will not do. >> the u.s. had the same policy that we have. there have been contacts with the taliban, and i've said that before. i will also not give commentary on them for obvious reasons. it would permit it to -- it would prohibit such contact if we gave the such contact conversations. and based on all of the conditions are was talking about being met, of course.
11:00pm
>> do we have those preconditions for negotiation? >> as far as i'm concerned, i've always said that we have our -- that there are contacts for reconciliation. there are recommendations for reconciliation. but i have not said that in order to set forth any talks those conditions must be met. >> you said you were very clear that the reconciliation process cannot be connected by a timetable. given the fact that we have announced in military withdrawal from a combat role timetable, haven't we actually made it impossible to get an early process of negotiation and reconciliation? because we have already announced to the taliban that we
11:01pm
will not be enough combat role, and all they need to do is undermine the building of the afghan security forces in knowing that president obama, and therefore, our prime minister subsequently, but caving in to that mission? >> as i was saying earlier, the military timetable is an unusual thing in itself. it is right in this case because the timetable for our own combat role with british forces not being anything like they are now is tailored to the growth and capabilities of the afghan security forces. what should the enemies of that focus on. undermining the capabilities of the afghan security forces. these are forces that have much greater capabilities and i garrido or two years ago and are
11:02pm
growing all the time -- than a year ago or two years ago and are growing all the time. there will have to be that reconciliation. if insufficient, and as a result, the expectation is the calculation is made, maybe in the middle of next year, or maybe in the middle of 2014. the afghan security forces are not just -- to hold the areas of the population there nevertheless, the tables of the military will go ahead. the consequences will follow. within plan b, is there a possibility to allow long
11:03pm
periods for the afghan forces to be built to the necessary climate? >> there are different rates of withdrawal and withdraw from, situations which are yet to be decided. the data is very firm. the prime minister has been clear about that for the last two years. so have all the rest of us in the government. partly because that is a key factor in the taking on of the responsibility by the afghans -- afghans. they need to know it is their responsibility. they need to know a transition has taken place. they have already taken on that responsibility. if you look at a place which transitioned some time ago to afghan security, our experience was when we sesaid the afghans
11:04pm
would be responsible, that helped to create the dynamic, the protest, and took on all things we need them to take on. they need to know that it does not change. >> they also know they will not change, therefore all in the to do is to undermine the forces so that at that point, they are in a stronger position than they would otherwise be. >> while that may be true, it is also true these forces are on track. to reach their strength. their capability is growing all the time. 353,000 by october of this year. one of the largest military forces in the world. they are on track to do that. that strategy, that approach, is not being successfully undermined by and about -- by anybody at the moment.
11:05pm
>> gains have been made forward in afghanistan. folks that are proceeding. how confident are you those gains are going to be permanent. is that one of the conditions secretary clinton will be pushing very hard? >> yes, it is something we always push. in the end, it is afghan that will determine what happens. that is the whole point of what we are working towards, here. we are doing whatever we can to make sure the culture is changed, that the culture of the role of women and the involvement of women in society changed. that is a big change in afghanistan. i have had discussions with afghan students where they attitudes of the male students, even of young people, was still
11:06pm
quite different from the female students. i think some of it is long-term work. i think, as you will be aware, the parallel with decisions, we brought together last numbers of women leaders in society, and so that work has gone on and will continue, all the way through, remaining involvement in afghanistan. >> is there any kind of political surge? we have all recognized the need for regional talks. russia, i ran. -- iran. hillary clinton called for this earlier this year. there does not seem to be time this is happening. is it in the pipeline? >> there are many things in the pipeline. a lot of our work with the government of afghanistan,
11:07pm
pakistan, in particular, is to promote political reconciliation, a political surge that you are talking about. as i was saying, we cannot say it succeeded. a lot of that work goes on. >> there is no conference plan or anything like that? >> no, i think for a conference of all parties involved, enough progress would have to be made to give that a chance of success. we are not at that point yet. >> can we turn to syria? you said just a few weeks ago that the situation is likely to to carry eight, even from its current position. what do you base that assessment on? >> that is partly because it is keep.
11:08pm
-- it is a deteriorating. there is nothing on the table at the moment that has any chance of being passed. it is going to change that in the future. we are taking a whole range of measures on september 3 to try to help the people in this conflict, but we are not able to bring this to an end. we have to state whether it will continue -- whether it will continue to get worse. the intensity of the fighting has been great in recent months than it was six or 12 months ago. i believe the situation will continue to deteriorate. >> one of the concerns expressed by the russians is that they are uncertain as to what would
11:09pm
actually replace the regime if it collapses. do you have any ideas of what syria is going to look like? thus what it should look like to begin with is what we agreed with the russian far minister along with the other permanent members of the security council and many leading arabs. a transitional government. transitional government that should include members of the present government, and members of the opposition, on the basis of mutual consent. there were many things we were not able to agree with, as you well know. we were not able to agree with russia on the revolutions we put forward. the latest in july was vetoed by russia. we did agree with russia on that. a transition government -- a transitional government on mutual consent is what the government should look like. what we have not been able to agree on in the u.n. is how to
11:10pm
agree on how that happens. >> what do you think it will look like? you said what it should look like. it seems to be quite a lot of evidence coming out. we may end up with the regime heart -- more hardline than the current one. >> the longer this goes on, the more excrements we will be able to find a foothold. the less easy it will be to have any agreed transition between all the groups involved. the longer it goes on, the worse consequences will be. i do not want to hide that from anybody in any way. we are dealing with -- it is another reason we are dirling
11:11pm
with a deteriorating situation -- dealing with a deteriorating situation. the things that russia -- an extremist regime, and the region, are made more likely by the failure of the u.n. security council to pass the resolution mandating and requiring the implementation of the peace plan that tells cnn put forward -- that kofi annan put forward. we will continue to work with them and talk to them about changing that. there has been no sign so far or change in the russian position. >> the transitional regime that we are talking about is a regime of a number of the , yet thegovernment
11:12pm
kofi plant entailed leaving it in place. would you say that's an inconsistency? >> the proposal was built on the kofi plan. we had to agree what we would all be happy with, including russia and china, a transitional government in syria based on mutual consent. kofi was very happy to support that. but he lacked was the full weight of the un security council saying there will be consequences if -- we did not know if they meant military consequences. that was not suggested that all. the consequences if that plan is not far off -- followed. >> if we are to bridge the gaps with russians, are our allies and we could -- prepared to
11:13pm
compromise? >> we have been ready to compromise throughout the spirit in framing the resolution we put forward on the 19th of july, that was vetoed, we were happy to accommodate by russia. nonmilitary consequences. even implementing those would require reference back to the u.n. security council. despite meeting all of the russian concerns, they were not willing to support anything that was a revolution under chapter 7. in our view and the view of the great majority, anything short of chapter 7 is too weak. >> is there is a collapse of the regime, what will the reaction ran be?neighbors in i ran th
11:14pm
>> consent. i pay tribute to the people of iraq, jordan, for the hospitality they are extending to hundreds of thousands of people. they are doing their best to cope with that. we are one of the leading countries in the world. the donations we give is to help those countries and we need other countries to stand up more. it is in their interest, as well, for this to be brought to an end as soon as possible. i cannot say department bears any side of that at the moment. -- save the parliament bears and the sight of that at the moment.
11:15pm
say the parliament bears and the any sight of that at theen moment. >> are you suggesting there is regret? [indiscernible] let's say the russian government did go for a chapter 7 agreement and the chinese road in behind them. what affect would you think that -- defect would you think that has on the resolution? but -- effect do you think that
11:16pm
would have? >> that will make a vast difference in the regime and a determination to carry on murdering their own people know -- and that has killed so many of its own people can reside over order and stability in their country again. it is doomed. it is a matter of time. as things stand, the situation will have to deteriorate further for that to come about. i do not know if there is any contradiction to what i have said. chapter 7 resolution or make an enormous difference. >> i think, chapter 7 resolution, the ability to
11:17pm
pursue a political transition. i take the signal that a strong chapter 7 resolution voted would extend and homes of support [indiscernible] i think that would be very important. behind him as he pursues the geneva plan or something close to it. >> it was suggested they would agree and the decapitation of the regime. president assad. a deal that similarly took place in yemen. >> there has been no sign of that agreement. we have had long and exhaustive discussions with russian leaders about this. the prime minister during the olympics.
11:18pm
another serious discussion about it. russia has agreed to what i was describing early. a transitional government on mutual consent. in our view, mutual consent means inevitably that afghan would not be a part of that. it is difficult to imagine in a government formed by mutual consent that they would be present. i have agreed to that. they would not agree on any measure to bring that about, to require that, and force that, for the united nations to mandate that. that remains a gap between us. at the moment, there is no sign in a change. that is why we pursue the many other strands. the work and sent out. the relief come of a non-lethal support. -- the relief, the non-lethal support.
11:19pm
we can do a lot in the absence of that. we cannot do -- have an internationally agreed solution. >> how do you feel that the mood following the intervention in libya has affected? p5? how much do think that plays into the problem with syria at the moment? >> it is one of the factors. i think there are many other factors at work. their own position is different. russian interests are much
11:20pm
stronger in syria. this is not the only factor certainly, there has been different -- has been disagreement about the implementation. we remain entrenched in our view that that was necessary. >> a lot further than it was agreed in in the security council resolution -- resolution. [indiscernible] do you think that has an impact with regards to a resolution with syria? >> i do not think we went further than in that resolution. all measures to perspective is a to protect civilian -- all
11:21pm
measures to protect civilians. i think we are absolutely correct. there are other factors at work. i think to ask about the p5. while we have this impact on syria, the security council continues to work well in many other respects. it is not always widely understood that on somalia, yen and, -- yemen, sudan, the u.n. council is very much living up to that. in syria, we are on a deadline. >> in iraq and afghanistan, there was an eventual conclusion notwithstanding iran support.
11:22pm
it was important to try to include them in the negotiating process. when we made the decision in -- when will we make the decision to exclude them in syria? >> that does not mean they are excluded from all consultation. we went to iran to consult the i iranians. our view and the american view is very clear. it is phenomenally difficult to arrive to an agreement we are talking about with what an iranian government should look like. iranink the presence of i r probably would have been
11:23pm
difficult or impossible. to have i ran -- i know space ran at the table, they are a to play an likely constructive role and the kind of solution we would think is reasonable. as you know, egypt has called together a group of four, which includes iran. but we have not criticized that. we are skeptical as to whether they would come up to an agreement that was liable for the people of syria. >> can you tell me whether the u.k. has provided training to
11:24pm
the city national council? >> the terms under which we provide equipment, mentoring, i sat down to the house on the third of september, which i am sure you have seen. i announced 5 million pounds. that assistance is and communications equipment, water purification, medical supplies, which general go through international agencies. those go to, this is not there for lethal. it does not in support of military or violence operations. that is a more important criteria than the name of the nation. >> we have following the
11:25pm
announcement taken to a number of various communications. [indiscernible] water purification. there is a lot of work to help train human rights. [indiscernible] accountability for crimes committed in syria. some of that assistance and some of the political work we do is with the national council, that assistance has not gone to the pre-syrian army. >> providing that military support. >> certainly, the opposition and groups [indiscernible] evidence over recent weeks and months have said they have done increasingly well. we have an arms embargo appeared
11:26pm
.e implement to tha -- armed embargo. we will do our utmost to monitor. we feel it is important to be of assistance and a dire situation. communications equipment can also be used to warn people of impending attack and save their lives. >> i am not being critical. >> no, no. as i argued a couple weeks ago when i made my statement, i think whatever risks are involved in supplying the kind of equipment we do is apply our hour -- are outweighed.
11:27pm
-- we do supply are outweighed. >> the regime's communication blockade. that is evidently anted jamil communications equipment. it is a sophisticated equipment. it is equipment that is going to be useful in terms of improving the military effectiveness of the operations groups to the sad regime. i put it to you, the policy is being given by presentation of factors. we are trying to appear presentation elite to be acceptable by supplying what you described as nonlethal equipment. that can equal -- contribute to the military of the opposition groups. we are not prepared to go
11:28pm
further and supply ammunition, etc.. i put it to you, can we really risk this policy of giving support on representational distinction which does the stand up in military terms? >> it is by human factors. we want to help save lives. that is our responsibility. has always been. we do that to humanitarian aid. we give to more than 40 million fans so far. that is what this assistance is designed to do, as well. there are people who are unable to communicate the ideas of freedom and democracy in many cases that they want to communicate. they cannot communicate about the intentions of the regime. sometimes, their lives are lost as a result. i think we do have a responsibility to help those people. now, of course, anything we do in this area is against all the
11:29pm
usual criteria on which you are one of the experts and against the wall. we will -- against the law. we have a human and a moral responsibility to assist people in this situation. i cannot see it being driven by any press additional factor. i do not hide in any way the all flesh of the situation and the likelihood it will deteriorate. the you want to add to that? >> there will always be some risk involved in this line of work. we have a careful process within government. within the serious policy. -- the syrian policy. with the legal adviser in.
11:30pm
and to make sure we are sharing information with them to try to address and minimize these risks. at the same time, trying to find ways to get practical support under intense pressure and great personal risk. >> i do not in any way doubt your sincerity that we are providing a substantial value of equipments, including communication equipment. to save lives. there is no question in my mind that the type of equipment being supplied can be of military benefit. i put it to you as a question. is it really the real dividing line, the british government and perhaps others?
11:31pm
it is not the real dividing line. to you want to get and a position in which british are used against russian equipment? >> we are not supplying for a whole range of reasons -- >> i understand that. i am saying that is not the dividing issue a policy. you wish to avoid all costs providing lethal weapons which could be used to improve military efficiency. you do not want to appear to have a situation where you supply lethal weapons that can be used against russian supply equipment. is not that that is the driving separation behind the conclusion you are making progress i cannot think so. i cannot think of it in that way appeared we have not discuss that in that way in the government. we are trying to help people. it is obviously a desperate situation and there are risks attached.
11:32pm
but i think with the equipment we are supplying, the balance of risk is in favor of supplying this. for all the reasons i said before, for illegal equipment, the balance is different. there has to be a much higher threshold. in determining how it might be used in voting. i see that as the dividing line. >> [indiscernible] the turks are provided with syrian opposition with equipment and a half to meet with equipment and other assistance which is complementary to an outsourcing policy. >> usually, in outsourcing, you
11:33pm
pay. we are not paying. we are not paying any other country to do that. >> military equipment is being provided. the network of friends of syria. we are distancing ourselves politically. we have made a decision, probably a right decision, that we wish to develop -- to provide a mechanism that we are not voluntarily sending lethal equipment. >> we wish to do what is the normal practice of this country and has been in the various conflicts of the middle east. the book the libyan conflict was applied on that occasion communication equipment but not lethal weapons. it as another been our decision
11:34pm
to supply weapons to either side. -- it has never been our decision to supply weapons to it aside. it is our normal practice. it is in line with the principles of this country and it is in line with the laws of this country. that determines it, rather than what other countries are doing. it is not part of some secret strategy with other countries. >> [indiscernible] some of the opposition? >> i do not recall that. whenever france did, the united kingdom did not. is there not a danger on relying on undemocratic, silly a rab
11:35pm
regimes. they may end up assisting some groups in syria to get weapons which might not have been taken if we ourselves have gone to take on the role. >> this is the argument we would need to intervene ourselves to send with what is in order to stop other people from doing so. i cannot think that would necessarily affect anyone else from doing it. who might do that. there are major up -- major other drawbacks to the policy. we can expand on them as much as you like. we would not know how those weapons would be used. the conflict in syria would be defined as one is which -- in which the west is involved.
11:36pm
i think the drawback, i do not [indiscernible] we do not know how the situation will develop. >> reports of some of the extremists, perhaps i -- al qaeda, extreme groups who are being harmed through saudi arabia. >> i cannot comment on who is arming who. we do not provide information about that. i am concerned about extremist groups fighting syria, as i said earlier. we should be concerned about it. everyone on the un security council should be. the water that goes on, the harder it will be to have peace and stability. -- the long grass that goes on,
11:37pm
the harder it will be to have longer that goes on, the harder it will be to have peace and stability. >> to establish some corridor for and syria to provide som the population. >> it has not been called for a convention or corridor. the meeting we had at the u.n. security council in august. the commission -- it has had advantages of such a policy. i do not think we should be dismissive of any of the options
11:38pm
you put forward. it is a difficult situation. we do not know what options may be necessary in the future. as things stand today, the creation of such corridors or safe havens, which are phenomenally difficult to protect, it would be tantamount to have a major military intervention in syria. i am not excluding any options for the future. the committee will be well aware of that. it will require intervention on a vastly greater scale than was the case in libya. it would require the full involvement of the united states.
11:39pm
>> another question. 20 years ago, the government did produce the policy to support the iraqis. what we require -- would we require if there was to be some initiative of that kind, given that specific u.n. resolution 20 years ago? >> i do not think i want to set criteria for that. we have had intervention's some that where we have had a un resolution, libya being the obvious case last year. it can be argued that in certain extremis circumstances, the responsibility to protect is so essential and imperative that under international law, we are able to enact -- to act. that is our did.
11:40pm
-- that is argued. nevertheless, any such intervention would have to follow the criteria. it would have to be successful. successful infinite -- intervention would require vastly greater military force. it will only be answered with the full participation of the united states. >> the proposition which has been put to by mr. gates. i agree with your references to libya. it made an enormous difference to the attitude. when the government brought
11:41pm
forward the proposal. for that intervention. the fact that it was authorized, it made the argument much easier. you have painted a somber picture in which, for the moment, there is no obvious step we can take beyond what one might describe as the support option, which the government has embarked upon. can i urge you to maintain the pressure on russia? and just draw to the attention that one of the important factors in the ethnic cleansing was the fact that the patience of russia made it clear it was
11:42pm
no longer willing to give an unequivocal support. i do not imagine the present state of the soviet union that we might get anything quite as clear cut. surely, it is worth pursuing as hard as we possibly can, the argument that russia really holds the key to the kind of resolution to this issue which would be in russia's interest. quest this is the argument i think you have very well. it was the argument i was trying to set out earlier. the argument should be those. if i am right, along the this goes on, the worse the situation is likely to be. the worse it will be for russia. as well as for international peace and security. it should be in the interests of russia.
11:43pm
to support the kind of resolution we put forward. that is not the view of the russian government. i entirely take aboard your encouragement to continue. we will continue with those efforts. i expect next week during the assembly in new york, we will continue these discussions in many different ways. the fact that the moment remains i go to the house on the third. a change in the russian position is most likely going to happen with a further change of mission of the situation on the ground in syria. -- a further change of the situation on the ground in syria.
11:44pm
>> the united states and the united kingdom joining together to embark on a military activity in the middle east, it would be hardly likely to ensure the end to the instability, which is seen in the streets of some arab countries. >> there are major disadvantages. i think it is important to stress that partly what we have been discussing here is the potential collapse of the syrian state of an even greater humanitarian crisis of the disorder spilling over into neighboring countries. i do not think we should be in the business of ruling things out. we must be conscious of the serious disadvantages and always weigh those and the balance. that is what we do today and i
11:45pm
feel, given the reaction and the comments to the policies i set out to syria, i think the policy commands general consent in this country and in this parliament and we will keep parliament fully informed of any change in our thinking. >> can we turn to iran? >> can i share with you some concerns and questions with regards to the evidence of iranian building a nuclear weapon. the evidence given by the u.s. director of national intelligence and the director of the cia. they said they have no evidence that they do not believe they made a decision to go ahead
11:46pm
with a nuclear weapon. national intelligence evidence since 2010, the operations. to the statements -- we believe he is speaking off the record, but they do not sit well together. i do not expect you to comment. i accept that. can i take your view as to whether the air iranians have ashley decided to build a nuclear weapon? >> i cannot think we did have absolute certainty on that either way. i am not able to discuss our
11:47pm
intelligence priming. our concern, current concern is over iran's nuclear program and its inability to explain to us or the international community that that activity is for peaceful purposes. that is our concern. that is a big enough concern in its own right. their respective whether a decision has been taken to manufacture a nuclear weapon. >> i think you are wrong. we have to face our paul -- base our farm policy decisions on evidence. -- foreign policy decisions on evidence.
11:48pm
do you except there is ambiguity here? where do you see the red line. the israeli red line appears to be and richmond. where do we sit in that range? it is not clear where it is on as -- this. >> i am not going to choose a red line. we are trying to promote a solution to this. it is worth noting that last
11:49pm
week, the board of governors voted in favor of a strong resolution on iran. this was russia and china voting on this. the iranian corp. was a potential urgent international conference and the peaceful nature. it expressed serious concerns about continued in richmond and heady were to relate to activities and iran -- in iran. it is not a western convention. we are not imagining that. those activities are very serious. >> i think you should except that iran -- other countries and nuclear powers have not.
11:50pm
can i bring you back to the testimony given to the senate. i take it you are not disagreeing with their assessments that iran has not yet, or are you? >> i am not disagreeing. i qualify that by always saying they are we would not necessarily now appeared what we do know is alarming enough. it is some of the things i just described. >> you would except that before any sort of intervention from the israelis, and i hate we are counting against preemptive military strikes, that we should be stressing to the israelis the importance of concrete evidence of the decision to build a weapon, as opposed to circumstantial.
11:51pm
>> there is no doubt. what i just described in the resolution is going on. our policy, and it has been debated in the house, it is a policy of sanctions and negotiations. we have been pursuing both of those vigorously in the year. the european union and partners around the world have implemented various sanctions which are having a major impact on iran. we will be intensifying the sanctions in the coming weeks and months and the absence of a successful negotiation. our advice to israel has been very clear that in the circumstances and in the pursuit of this policy, we are not in favor of a military strike on iran. >> thank you.
11:52pm
>> not being productive. an assessment of how effective the sanction will be. are you optimistic this will produce results? >> the imports and oil came on the first of july. it does appear iranian oil sales are dramatically lower than one year ago. something like 1 million barrels a day lower than they were last year. that is a large cut in i iranian oil revenues. those sanctions are having an effect. it is not our assessment at the moment that it has led to a change in's policy -- in iran's
11:53pm
polity. -- policy. >> if the iranians said it is their intention to build a bomb and they have one, we would continue the sanctions? >> i am sure. absolutely. >> how much preparation can be made for a world in which we ed iran?uclear arms ira >> that would be a development so serious. so serious for the middle east as a whole. our efforts must be directed to preventing it. i think it is a mistake to move on to arguments about how we
11:54pm
would contain the situation, because we create the illusion it would be easy or possible to manage. the consequences are on notable. -- unknowable. it will be intensified. the intensification of our sanctions. >> correct me if i am wrong, but there is no evidence of any effort so far of a diplomatically or economically arresting iran's -- >> it would be very surprising if they did not have that effect. as we said a moment ago, it has not led to a change in policy in iran.
11:55pm
i firmly believe the policy we are pursuing is the best of of a peaceful outcome and it would be a better policy than not pursuing the sanctions. it would increase the likelihood of an israeli and military attack on iran. >> thank you. can we turn to libya and north africa? as you are aware, europe -- a response was just published. could you give us an update in your reaction to the tragic death of the u.s. ambassador and do you think it was a one off or is it part of a coordinated program? >> is a tragedy. that is the first thing to say. this is a highly respected ambassador who worked for a closely with some of our staff. he was working hard in the interests not just for the united states for -- united
11:56pm
states but for libya. we express our condolences and also to discuss the various security measures each of our countries have taken. i met the u.s. secretary of state in baghdad. it happened last week. we discussed the situation. i think the first thing to say about this is that the film to which people -- which has provoked outrage was designed to provoke outrage. although i have not seen it, it is clearly a contemptible piece of work. we should have the clear opinion about it. at the same time, there is no excuse for violence. it must be understood across the region that diplomats working in
11:57pm
places are doing so to help the people of libya. i therefore welcome the clear condemnation of what has happened by leaders including islamist leaders across the region, including the president of egypt, who i visited earlier the same day. including the leaders of libya. it is also important to point out so people can and see the balance of opinions in libya, the outpouring of support and very strong reaction against the violence which our embassy has reported from libya and people have taken to the streets, saying, not in our name. the embassy has messages
11:58pm
condemning the attacks. libyan political leaders and leaders of the government have repeatedly condemned what they call a cowardly and criminal act. in my own experience, i visited twice in the last year. there were vast members of people there who want good relations with western nations and all nations and are grateful for all the assistance we have given them. so, i believe we must continue to support the people in the so- called arab spring trying to bring freedom and democracy to their country. this is a tragic event. we must not be discarded. we must continue that support. we must maintain our efforts in their ability to be maintained. [indiscernible]
11:59pm
the u.s. activity in libya has remained diplomatic. the united states will look at whatever they need to do to improve their own security. i cannot comment further on what they do. their response has been entirely diplomatic so far. so has our response. our embassies have not been affected as directly or targeted in the same way appeared our in sudan was friday. the german diplomats took refuge in our embassy. the protection of embassies. otherwise, our embassies have not been directly targeted -- targeted. i was inside the embassy in cairo. i gathered the region outside the american embassy next door.
12:00am
-- i gathered outside the american embassy next door. no attempt was made to enter the british embassy. we keep our security under careful review. we have increased the training of our staff. safe training. we are on top of this every day. >> continuing your last sentence, we visited egypt, libya, and tunisian earlier this year. it is self evident that in these situations, you can have a degree of security and danger which can escalate in a matter of hours. which is difficult to deal with. may i ask you, do you have
12:01am
confidence that you have the capabilities and the resources to provide proper protection, security protection, to our diplomats serving in libya and elsewhere in the middle east? and their families when they have families with them still? >> we take precautions. we take necessary precautions all the time to read an attempt was made on the life of our ambassador three months before last week's incident. so we had already taken the precaution. we asked to review their security procedures. that involves a cost of reevaluation of the nature of any local threats and the willingness of the host nation to protect.
12:02am
it is primarily the responsibility of the host nation to ensure the safety of diplomats and diplomatic missions. whenever necessary, remind post -- host nations of the response of a day to do that. our approach is one of risk management rather than complete risk avoidance. it is inevitably part of our work in what regions that there is sometimes a risk. we do our best to minimize it. we do that all the time. devin missed anything? >> what i asked on resources. are you satisfied that our resources anibal you to take necessary measures -- enable you to take necessary measures. and your finest people saying we
12:03am
cannot afford it? >> that does not happen. the security of our staff is a prime consideration. it occupies a large part of our budget. necessary majors are not rigid measures are not [unintelligible] either of my officials here might wish to comment on that. >> when heads of mission request additional security measures, those measures are granted. there's never a financial reason not to ground to those measures. we spend a significant portion of our budget, about 70% of our running costs, on security. it is not constrained by money. recognize that our staff is in difficult security environment.
12:04am
>> that is a very important point. after the incidents in khartoum friday -- the restraint presence of mind about staff is absolutely outstanding. local as well as u.k.-based diplomats, local security staff as well. can have great confidence in them around the world. >> you refer to your budget -- visit to egypt. would you update us on the current assessment of egypt? >> present obama was careful not to describe them as an ally or an enemy. but i regard egypt as a friend of the u.k. we do not have a formal alliance.
12:05am
united states had very technical terms in terms of non-nato allies. we do not have those same terms. egypt is a friendly country an important ally for us. the rest of the tenure of our discussions was encouraging. there was a concentration and dented the egyptian leadership on the economic scene -- in the egyptian leadership on the economic scene. that requires practical government. that requires economic expansion, attraction of foreign investors. given the demonstration was -- visitors to the prime minister of egypt was a large u.s. trade delegation. strong encouragement of the tape -- of the egyptian government. i think that is well understood.
12:06am
the president -- i have found his manner, his approach to the particular economic challenges of his country and the recognition of the importance of that to be more encouraging than anything i've seen in egypt in the last few years. we cannot have any complacency about what the challenges are. >> are you saying the relationship between the u.k. government's and the newton government is better than it was with mubarak? >> i do not have much experience personally of the relationship with the mubarak regime but the relationship with egyptian society has the potential to be much better than in those times. we are supportingth the yearning
12:07am
of people to have their freedom and democracy as well as projects under our partnership to support business ethics and entrepreneurship. i visited some of people last week benefiting from those products. that can include a good relationship with the government. i think it is at least as good as the relationship that this government or past governments have had with the mubarak regime. >> what about the treatment of gays, women, minorities? >> this is a very important subject. the president has been elected. -- the constitution is now being prepared. also the secretary general of
12:08am
the constitution's assembly lead in the drafting of the constitution. and people from across other political parties. part of my measure is to encourage them to ensure that human rights covers the protection of minorities are enshrined in the constitution. >> and homosexuals and women? >> as far as i'm concerned, that is an important part of human rights. also in egypt, the importance of religious toleration of the position of coptic people. we have been through all these subjects. >> there seems to be a massive change in the security threats now facing the country. it shipped from terrorist organizations -- a ship from
12:09am
terrorist organizations towards a mob. we have seen it in bank as a -- benghazi where despite a large security presence, a u.s. ambassador was killed. this suggests we are moving into a world that will be more and more difficult to continue to depend on governments protecting our diplomats because the skit -- the investments required to deal with 400 people, they have huge implications for the number of embassies he can run. >> it will have to remain for the host government. this is an increased threat. that does not reducehe other
12:10am
threats -- the attempt on the life of our ambassador in benghazi. this does that mean other threats are being reduced. there is no way of avoiding the prime responsibility of being host nation. there are many circumstances in which host nations fully lived up to these responsibilities. what we are hearing about your is the exception to that. across the middle east, host nations often do an outstanding job in -- and their police forces often do a great job protecting foreign embassies. where they fall down than to that task, then we have discussions with those governments. that is what unites states has been doing as well. i do not think that can bring about a fundamental change. we will not able to deploy our own military to protect. an inability to protect
12:11am
embassies will affect our ability to continue to deploy them in these countries and it will affect the economic features of the countries concerned. >> what they may be seeing regarding the very changes in the middle east is the assumption of the threats on host countries -- [unintelligible] that could have implications for security policies. >> we will see. i think you may find these events are reminder to host countries responsibilities. >> we have to be cleared differentiating between regimes and those like the libyan
12:12am
authorities where the will was there to try to help with the capabilities were not. -- while the capabilities or not. i think they want to meet those responsibilities as part of overcoming the legacy they have on the gadhafi regime. we at the be clear from different jaded that kind of situation from something like iran. >> in that case, we could not operate an embassy in a logger in teheran. -- any longer in tehran. you raised the question of egypt's relationship with israel. president mubarak was no support for maintaining the peace
12:13am
treaty. in the aftermath of the fall of the regime, there is some speculation as to whether a new egypt would feel similarly committed to that. what assessment are you able to make about the attitude towards israel? which would be a fundamental pillar in any effort to retain stability in the middle east. >> the president has said he stands by the peace treaty with israel. welcome back. his concentration is very much on building up egypt's own factor -- own future. that is the right priority. i also discussed with him and other colleagues the situation in china where there have been
12:14am
security problems. we stand ready to work with egypt in any way we can to assist in the sense of our own expertise and how to deal with such internal security issues. that is something that is very important. i welcome the stance the president has taken on this. >> were positive about the process and the response reflects that. but there are some concerns being expressed. i'm interested in your assessment of the card as a sheet -- current situation in tunisia. >> we remain positive about it. the arab spring in general, this
12:15am
has the potential to be the greatest extension of human freedom since the end of the cold war. but as i have often said, many of you on this committee have often said, it will have crises and problems along the way for many years. that will be true in each of these countries. we found on farm policy discussing -- on foreign policy that tunisia is actively engaged in the arab league in working with countries like the united kingdom with a similar view of the way forward. in economic policy, they want to expand trade, they want to attract businesses, they want to work closely with the european union. that that is how their leadership is going to be, that is something for which we have
12:16am
nothing to fear. we have to support them in their own stability without trying to dictate for them what to do. this is a further illustration of why i say we must continue our support for the arab spring. >> our bilateral relationship with ecuador. >> it generated huge headlines all over the world. was it a diplomatic blunder? what went wrong? >> that is what you call a loaded question. i think it was the right thing to do. you wanted the governor of ecuador to know that -- before they made a decision about
12:17am
granting what they call under the 1954 agreement diplomatic asylum, a concept we do not recognize. if they did so, that would not be a division that would find much favor in law in the united kingdom. we worked on an agreed texts with them. it's about their legal position in the u.k. which remains the legal position which was not a threat with them a clear at the time and have since made clear with the vice president of ecuador on the 29th o august. this does not imply a threat to the united kingdom and is a
12:18am
strong upholder of international law of the vienna convention, the relevant act of parliament include a commitment to international law but we have our own legal responsibilities. our own extradition laws. we will fulfil those with -- to fill those responsibilities. you wanted to make all that clear and we continue to make that clear. >> there have been a number of eminent critics he said the foreign office has slightly overreached themselves. another former ambassador said they made a big mistake it was skeptical. that is not issued a threat. it is a question of semantics.
12:19am
>> people have their opinions. i am not sure the word slightly is a particularly damning criticism. people are entitled to their opinions. we have stated that our position. ecuador stated their position. we have the same situation as before. both countries are willing to negotiate about it. the legal position it -- is different. our position is very clear. they're contacted this -- diplomatic asylum is one that we not recognize. we have agreed to continue to talk about this. given the different legal -- there is no solution in sight at the moment. but we will continue to be available to talk to ecuador about it.
12:20am
>> say you are continuing to talk? >> the particular work that is referred to in and the memoir, there were seven meetings before then between the u.k. and ecuador. it shows the work was going on. that work well attach to leave in our view the embassy. be made very clear -- we have made very clear that it would have had to have had that results. that remains the position. we have not gone backwards in 04 words. remained -- or forwards. we reamin at the impasse -- remain at the impasse of ecuador.
12:21am
i have set out to him as i have said in public, all the responsibilities of the united kingdom and sweden have under the european convention on human rights, if ecuador fears he will be extradited. our home secretary would have to be out of commission for such extradition from sweden to another country am not able to agree to extradition. i think there are some unnecessary fears. we have tried to set my address in ecuador. a lot to continue to try to do that. we didn't we have tried to set- clear in ecuador. a lot to continue to try to do that. it is up to them how they wish
12:22am
to proceed. they have given no sign of doing that. the request is for extradition for syria's alleged offenses. -- for serious alleged offenses. we will fulfill its legal obligation to extradite a person in that situation. >> a couple minutes left. could you update us on the agnlo russion -- anglo russian relations at the moment. >> our objective in this government has been to improve our working relationship with russia. clearly we have some differences. we have been discussing one of them today on syria. there are differences on foreign policy. we sometimes have vigorous exchanges about human rights.
12:23am
-- human rights issues. it is important to have a working relationship with russia. they are a leading nation in the world, and member of the security council. we have to work with them everyday. as a personal minister level, we have created good contact, good relationships. the russian foreign minister to the u.k. last year, it was his first bilateral visit in seven years to the u.k. when i hosted him here. i have been back there this year and the prime minister president putin had a good meeting. we had a great time watching the judo at the olympics but did not make any breakthrough on syria. in the meantime, the businesses are doing well -- british
12:24am
businesses are doing well exporting to russia. it is one of our fastest export markets. but we do have concerns. i think it is a better working relationship but we have not given any ground for brought about any relaxation of the measures introduced after the murder of alexander. we have not received any satisfaction on that point so we have not changed any measures the of the previous government. the ability to discuss global and bilateral issues is there and we have reinforced that. >> have you expressed an anxiety towards the russian ambassador to the foreign minister about efforts to suppress dissidents,
12:25am
and also the fact that certain members of parliament seem to be singled out in the way because there are dissidents. in the are to be targeted. do we express views about that? >> we did express our views. the prime minister raised an issue of the pussy riot. >> you were able to identify george michael for me. >> yes, so, i am providing a continuing service. [laughter] the prime minister did raise that with president putin. we do have an actual formal u.k.
12:26am
russia human-rights dialogue. the last one was held here in london in july where our officials rose a range of issues, including new legislation, freedom of assembly and expression, the protection of human rights. we do not hold back from raising issues. sometimes have quite a vigorous argument. >> and there will be fewer of you to transfer matters to. you now have two part time ministers. what has been given in extremely large breed -- afghanistan, various others. -- one has been given an extremely large brief.
12:27am
are you confident this is it part time job? next there are six foreign office ministers and the trade minister. there were only for front office ministers in the last government. the ministerial team is much bigger than that was in the last government. it will be an excellent addition to the team and well able because of this is a possibility. i think we've been described in one of the newspapers as the happiest ministerial team. i agree with that one. [laughter] we work together so well and that will remain the case with the new members of the team. do you have a committee -- thank
12:28am
you very much indeed for coming in today. it is much appreciate your >> thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> on tomorrow's washington journal, senator tom harkin on congressional offers to avoid that this booklet. kentucky congressman ed whitfield on accusations that the president is engaged in a so-called war on coal. recent washington monthly article profiled the new consumer financial protection bureau. we will talk to washington monthly's editor in chief. boston journal begins live at 7:00 a.m. eastern time -- washington journal begins live at 7:00 a.m. eastern time on c- span3 >> the country faces the starkest situation -- choice for president in my memory. the president and i have fundamentally different bits and -- visions than governor romney
12:29am
and congressman ryan and a different value set. >> under the current president, we are at risk of becoming a poor country. because he looks to government as the great benefactor in every life. our opponents even have a new motto -- government is the only thing that we all belong to. i do not know about you, but i have never thought of government as something that i belong to. >> walked and engage with c-span as the campaign to move towards the october debates. the vice presidential candidates will debate once on october 11 while the presidential candidate's face off in 390 minute debates. october 3, october 16 and october 22. follow online at c-span.org. >> i watch c-span to find the
12:30am
unfiltered trees. what they're saying, when and why. beyond that, i like to use c- span as a thermostat for what is happening in the country. sometimes to get caught up in the beltway and one of the shows i enjoy is a washington journal because the calls are on centered -- uncensored. a lot of times have morning interviews antes and talks about the same topic i get a hit on so i know what people are thinking and it gets my argument together when i walked into the studio door. >> he watches c-span on comcast. created by america's cable companies in 1979, brought to you as a public service by your television provider. >> mother jones magazine obtain a video of republican presidential candidate mitt romney in a may 17 fund raiser
12:31am
-- fund raiser in florida and released on their website. portions posted online had made headlines, especially a comment he made about 47% of americans backing president obama being victims who are dependent on government and pay no income tax. mitt romney has said his comments were merely a snippet and has full response. here is the entire offense. it is just under an hour. -- the entire event./ it is just under an hour. >> [laughter] >> i want to spend our time responding to questions you
12:32am
have, listening to advice you might have. occasionally i get envelopes like that and a campaign ideas. i am happy to take advice. we cannot vote if it is a good piece of advice or bad piece of advice. [laughter] i am looking to get your perspectives. a couple of things he may not know about me -- you probably know i am the father of five and grandfather of 18. my oldest son does have plans last week. -- just had twins last week. our ness is getting larger and our source of great joy. when i was halfway to my career, i met with lawyers to draft a will.
12:33am
she said how do you want to of the divide what sticky might eventually have? i said i wanted divided equally among my five sons. she said how much two grandchildren but mark -- ? i said i did not want to give anything to them, i want to give to my sons and it will give to their children as needed. she said it will change your mind. -- you will change your mind. [laughter] [inaudible] i love my grandchildren. i'm very concerned about what the nation will be like over the coming decade or two. i see two very different scenarios.
12:34am
one is american power in the world economy with an extraordinary economy, a working with us. the very vibrant america with prosperity for the bulk of the american people. i see something like europe. i think that is the path we are on right now. and what to make sure what little i have left after the campaign goes to my grandchildren. my heritage -- my dad was the governor of michigan and the head of a car company but he was born in mexico. having been born a mexican parents, i would have a better shot of winning this. [laughter] i said that jokingly.
12:35am
for those who do not know elizabeth warren, she's running for u.s. senate in massachusetts this issue jerry k. -- she is cherokee. she is one of the minority faculty members. it turns out that at most she is 1/32nd. at any point, i can put that my dad was born in mexico and leave it at that. his dad was in construction. he believed in america and the ability of opportunity. i never doubted for a moment that he could achieve his dreams. was born in wales.
12:36am
his dad was a coal miner. they got injured in an accident. realizing there was no future there, he came to detroit and worked in the auto factory until he saved enough money to bring the kids over. they said to be successful in america, you have to get an education. they could not afford an education. the kids and the parents said if we all worked and we all save, we can afford to send one to collins. this sent -- one to college. they sent my wife's dad. working every day and saving money is that your brother to go to college. he went to college. he started a company and became
12:37am
more successful and was able to hire his brothers. that my dad and ann's could do quite well -- dad did quite well. i have inherited nothing. everything i have inherited the old fashion way and that is by hard work trade -- by hard work. [applause] i said that because of the perception that i never have to earn anything and so forth. frankly i was born with a silver spoon which is the greatest gift you can have, to the born in america.
12:38am
when i was in my private equity days, we went to china to buy a factory there. there were 20,000 people, almost all young women between the ages of 18-22. were saving for potentially becoming married. the may various small appliances. as they went to the facility, living in dormitories with little back at the end. the rooms -- they have 12 girls per room. three bunk beds. all around this factory was a huge fence with barbwire and guards. we said i cannot believe you keep these girls in pretty said this is to keep other people from coming in because people
12:39am
want so badly to come work in this factory. so we have to keep them out or they will come under a start working. this to keep people out. chinese new year's, the girls go home. sometimes they saved enough money and they do not come back to the factory. on the weekend at the chinese new year, there is a line of people hundred long outside the factory, hoping some girls have not come back. we were experiencing this for the first time. the same parker i was what turned to me -- the same partner turned to me and said [unintelligible] this is an amazing land. what we have is so unique and special for sharing the world. i'm concerned about the future but also optimistic. eyelet for to get america back on track.
12:40am
we can talk about immigration today. i would love to bring in more legal immigrants that have skill and knowledge. unless of course you have no skill or experience in which case you're welcome to cross the border and stay there for the rest of your life. our idea -- [unintelligible] i will turn to you for council, advice, or questions. we can talk about tax policy. or political questions.
12:41am
>> the debates will be coming. [unintelligible] i think it will be very effective. >> the former head of goldman sacks with the former head of the new york federal reserve. he said we are going to avail treasury, and as rates will have to go up. -- going to have a failed treasury, interest rates will have to go up.
12:42am
we borrow almost $1 trillion a year. the russians are not giving it to us in the margaret -- to us anymore. we are making it up. the federal reserve is taking it. this is not good for our economic future. >> to what extent the people understand the severity of the fiscal situation we are dan delaware? >> they do not. by and large.
12:43am
it is partly are far -- our fault. the fact that greece is going to do it in a writ about france and italy and spain has finally made this issue to the american people. when you do polls and ask people what is the biggest issue in the 2012 other action, number one is the economy and jobs by a wide margin. number two is the deficit. the debt. the people who recognized that tend to be republicans. what we have to get is that 5% or 10% in the middle. and have them understand how important it is. it is a challenge.
12:44am
if you take the total national debt and the unfunded liabilities of -- of medicare, social security, medicaid -- it is 10 or 12 times. even though we will not be writing a check for that amount per household, they will pay the interest on that. my generation will be long gone and he will be paying interest. you'll be paying taxes not only for the things you what in your generation but for all the things we spend money on. it is extraordinary to think tax rates -- will happen if we do
12:45am
not change medicare and social security. the payroll tax analysis 15.3%. if you do not change those programs, the tax which will ultimately rise to 44%. then there is the income tax on top. then there is a tax. and sales tax and so forth. the and that having to pay 100% of people's income. yet the president will not talk about reforming social security or medicare. the biggest surprise a have as young people who will vote for democrat. the current -- the democrats talk about social issues and a vote on that issue.
12:46am
>> we are formers bostonians. we agree with what you said. i would like to know -- about the real issue. >> by the way, start eating.
12:47am
it is important to look at your food was a start eating. [laughter] you are right. in nuclear iran is an unthinkable thing not just to our friends in israel and europe but also for us. because iran has hezbollah. if i were iran, are within let's get a little material to has the law and have them carried it to chicago are some other place and that anything goes wrong, we will say unless the standout, we will led off a third a-bomb. america could be held in -- held by iran.
12:48am
we do not have been it opted to keep them from having a nuclear weapon to writ-- we do not have any options to keep them from having a nuclear weapon. we should have put in sanctions at the beginning of the president term but he did not. he gave russia their number one foreign policy objective. for addicted all they cared about was getting a missile defense and he gave them that. and got nothing in return. he could have gotten them to agree to crippling sanctions against iran. he did not. which is one of the greatest foreign policy errors of modern times. if he could not have gotten -- i would have traded away. number two, we should have been
12:49am
aggressively supporting the voices of dissent in iran. we should have supported the voices of revolution. we should admit it clear by now we have military plants to remove their nuclear capabilities. that does not mean we actually pull the trigger but we communicate to them that we are ready to do so. instead what this administration has done is communicate to the iranians that we're more worried about israel attacking them them we are about them becoming nuclear. this is extraordinary. those -- i will step back on foreign policy. the president's foreign-policy -- his magnetism and charm and his spurs as of this he thinks is so compelling thing -- compelling that he can sit down
12:50am
with people and they will go on with it. and it will stop doing bad things. that is a perception that has led to huge errors could into north korea and iraq, of as the iran and egypt, around the world. the centerpiece of american foreign policy has to be strength. everything i do will be calculated to increasing america's strength. when you stand by your alleys, you become strength -- stronger. when he headed the military, you are stronger. but have a strong economy, you build american strength. for me, everything is about strength. this president speaks loudly and carries a tiny stick.
12:51am
that is not the right course for foreign policy. you are not eating. [laughter] i said to him how are we perceived around the world? he said one word -- [unintelligible] that is how this president is perceived. unfortunately by our foes. it is no wonder the people like kim jong on announces a missile test a week after he said he would not. what is this president going to do about it? >> [inaudible]
12:52am
[indiscernible] >> i can ask you how do i duplicate that scenario. >> [indiscernible]
12:53am
>> ip should the idea. -- i appreciate the idea. it's typical day like this when i do three or four events, the number of foreign-policy questions i get are between zero and one. the american people are not concentrated at all on china, russia, iran, iraq. despite its failure -- this president's failure, unthinkable. in the jim carter election, we had hostages as a director that was all that was talked about -- we had hostages in iran. that was all that was talked about.
12:54am
[indiscernible] >> [indiscernible] [laughter] >> i am torn by two perspectives in this regard. one i have had for some time. college students have no interest in -- [indiscernible] and the pathway to peace is
12:55am
difficult to accomplish. then come some thorny questions. the horn between israel and the miles to theit's 7 west bank. the challenge is the other side of the west bank of what would be this new palestinian state -- the iranians would want to do through the west bank exactly what they did to lebanon.
12:56am
bring the armament into the west bank and potentially threaten israel. israel would of course have to say that cannot happen. we have to keep iranians from bringing weapons into the west bank. that means that the israelis are going to control the border between jordan, syria, and this new palestinian nation? you cannot guard our border with other arab nations -- how about the imports? how about flying in? are we going to allow military aircraft to come in? who will keep it from comet in? the israelis -- [indiscernible].
12:57am
not only to the palestinians not want to see peace in the way -- there is just no way. you move things along the bset way of can. the hope for some degree of stability. look at china and taiwan. a potentially balaton situation. -- volatile situation and we kicked the can down the field. i got a call from a former secretary state, i will not mention who was. this individual said i think there is a prospect for a settlement between the palestinians and israelis. i said really?
12:58am
i did not delve into it. i have to i tell you, the ideal -- the idea of pushing on the israelis to give something up is the worst idea in the world. we have done that time and time again. it does not work. the answer is american strength, american resolve. >> [indiscernible] i am very concerned about the
12:59am
average american who does not know you. [indiscernible] but now i'm very concerned. women did not want to vote for you. minorities did not want to vote for you. after talking to them and explaining on a one-on-one basis, we were able t

Terms of Use (10 Mar 2001)